Rimac Nevera Sets New Speed Record At 276 km/h… In Reverse

The all-electric Rimac hypercar’s four motors can go the same speed forward as it does reverse. 

One of the cool things about EVs is that, due to the lack of a gearbox, it is technically possible for said fully-electric vehicle to travel as fast backward as it does forward. And of course, it should also stand to reason that the fastest EV in the world going forward would be the fastest in reverse too. 

Well handily, there is actually now no need to rely on intuition for that any more, as Rimac has recently just set the Guinness World Record for the fastest speed in reverse with its 1,914 hp Nevera. Clocked at a top speed of 275.74 km/h (171.34 mph), the boutique Croatian EV marque proudly touts for this figure of its hypercar going backwards is to be the same as what could be achieved by the mighty V12-powered Lamborghini Miura going forwards. 

This record attempt was verified using data measured by Dewesoft and took place at the Automotive Testing Papenburg facility in Germany, where the Neverahad  earlier this year broken more than 20 acceleration and braking records in a single day, including record-breaking top speed run to 412 km/h (256 mph). Rimac test driver Goran Drndak was once again behind the wheel of this EV hypercar during the record-breaking run in reverse, with the car used similarly finished in the same Time Attack Edition livery worn during earlier record-breaking runs. 

Speaking more about this record-breaking run, the Rimac test driver stated: “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 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,” he added. 

And as amazing as this record came to be, the story behind it is perhaps even funnier. That is as at least according to Matija Renić, Chief Program Engineer of the Nevera, this reverse run initially was thought up just as an in-joke during the development process of the EV hypercar. 

“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,” said Matija. “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 240 km/h (150 mph) but we didn’t have much of an idea how stable it would be – we were entering unchartered territory.”

Rimac unfortunately has not detailed the acceleration times achieved by the Nevera going in reverse. The hypercar manufacturer however did disclose for the Nevera’s quad-motor gearless drivetrain to be capable of delivering ‘similar earth-shattering performance travelling backwards’ as it does forwards, which in this case means that Goran could likely have went from a stand still to 160 km/h in reverse in just 3.21 seconds, and theoretically could also manage to clock 320 km/h (200 mph) in just under 11 seconds. 

In July at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Nevera set a 49.32 second time during the timed Supercar Shootout, making it the fastest production car to have taken on the famous hillclimb. In August meanwhile, the Nevera also took to the Nordschleife to break the previous EV production lap record set by the Tesla Model S Plaid Track Package, beating it by 20 seconds on its debut around the 20.83 km circuit. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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