Normally, a Rimac Nevera hypercar going 171.3 mph isn’t a story. After all, this carbon fiber Croatian instrument of weaponized electricity can do 256 mph flat-out, and hitting 66.9 percent of its top speed is in some ways similar to hitting 83 mph in a 2008 Scion xB. However, things are a bit different when a Rimac Nevera hits more than 170 MPH in reverse, breaking a world record in the process.
In case you aren’t familiar with the Rimac Nevera, this electric surface-to-surface missile is proof that the future doesn’t have to be boring. We’re talking four electric motors, 1,888 horsepower, real torque vectoring, a quarter-mile elapsed time of 8.25 seconds, and a fire extinguisher with a very cheeky joke on its retaining strap. It’s the mind-mashing bleeding edge of what is currently possible with electric cars, and it’s been breaking records all over the board.
Earlier this year, Rimac took one of its electric Nevera hypercars, rented a runway, tapped DEWEsoft for data acquisition, and let it rip in reverse. Once an adjudicator from Guinness World Records had reviewed the data, a verdict had been reached: Say hello to the new fastest car in reverse in the world.
Of course, this news shouldn’t be terribly surprising. In an EV, each drive unit typically has a single-speed reduction gearbox and that’s it. Just reverse the polarity, and you should be able to go ludicrously fast in reverse because the gearing and maximum drive unit speed should be capable of the same feats forwards as they are backwards.
In practice, the mechanics of driving backwards are a bit different. Toe and caster settings are effectively reversed, steering comes from the rear, visibility is, erm, limited, and aerodynamics are, let’s just say, altered. There’s a definite sketchiness factor to driving fast in reverse, as evidenced by a college colleague attempting to hit VTEC in reverse and almost ending up in a field. Hats off to Goran Drndak, the driver in this record-setting attempt. He must have nerves made of osmium.
So, why break the reverse top speed record in the first place? If I were to hazard a guess, it’s because everyone into EVs knew it was theoretically possible, but theory can only take you so far. Besides, going fast is fun, breaking records is fun, and manifesting cool thoughts you’ve held in your head is fun. After all, cars should be fun, and if they aren’t, what’s the point?
(Photo credits: Rimac Automobili)
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