Rimac’s 1,900 horsepower electric hypercar has been breaking records all year, smashing 23 speed records back in May, and breaking the Nürburgring lap record for electric vehicles a couple of months ago. Like the photographer at a corporate retreat, after setting those records Rimac said, “Let’s do a fun one!” It slammed the car in reverse and went full send. With a full schedule of Guinness World Record measuring equipment and staff on hand, Rimac’s driver Goran Drndak stepped on board and floored it. He ran the monster EV up to 171.34 miles per hour!
“It occurred to us during development that Nevera would probably be the world’s fastest car in reverse, but 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,” said Matija Renic, Nevera chief program engineer.
“On the run itself, 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 rearview 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,” commented Drndak.
From a technical standpoint, the Nevera could theoretically achieve the same wheel speed in reverse as it can going forward, because its EV powertrain consists of four individual electric motors, each running through a single speed gear reduction box. Electric motors can run just as fast one direction as they can the other, so in over simplified terms, it’s just a matter of switching the polarity to run full speed backwards. The only reason the Nevera topped out at 171 instead of its forward top speed of 256 mph is down to a combination of stability, aerodynamics, and driver bravery.
My new favorite *fun fact* is that the Rimac Nevera can go faster in reverse than a Lamborghini Miura can go forward.