A new reversing world speed record: 171mph BACKWARDS in a Rimac Nevera

Published: 07 November 2023 Updated: 07 November 2023

► A new reversing speed world record
► Rimac Nevera sets v-max backwards
► Ratified by Guinness World Records

The all-electric Rimac Nevera has set a world speed record with a difference: it was with the electric motors locked in reverse.

Driving backwards at the Automotive Testing Papenburg test track in Germany, the Nevera Time Attack Edition hit a top speed of 171.34mph.

As with all electric cars, there is no transmission – instead, the motors just run in reverse. This means that the Nevera is just as quick backwards as forwards, so it can theoretically sprint in either direction to 62mph in 3.2sec, and even past 200mph in 11sec (although we wouldn’t recommend owners try this in reverse!).

What it feels like to reverse at over 150mph

It’s a pretty unnatural sensation to reverse at three figures. Goran Drndak, Rimac’s chief test driver, said: ‘It definitely took some getting used to. You’re facing straight out backwards watching the scenery flash away from you faster and faster, feeling your neck pulled forwards in almost the same sensation you would normally get under heavy braking.

‘You’re moving the steering wheel so gently, careful not to upset the balance, watching for your course and your braking point out the rear-view mirror, all the while keeping an eye on the speed. Despite it being almost completely unnatural to way the car was engineered, Nevera breezed through yet another record.’

Ratified by Guinness World Records

Special timing equipment supplied by Dewesoft measured the backwards run and the Guinness World Records team was on hand to ratify the reversing speed world record.

The idea was first floated during the car’s development, according to chief program engineer Matija Renic. ‘We kind of laughed it off. The aerodynamics, cooling and stability hadn’t been engineered for travelling backwards at speed, after all. But then, we started to talk about how fun it would be to give it a shot.

‘Our simulations showed that we could achieve well over 150mph, but we didn’t have much of an idea how stable it would be – we were entering unchartered territory.’

You can read our earlier Mate Rimac interview here – and watch the official reversing land speed record video from Rimac below.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words