There are plenty of cars that can top 130 miles per hour – moving forward. Going backwards, now that's another story altogether. But that's just what this Audi prototype did.
As you might have guessed, this is no ordinary Audi A3. Not an RS3, either, or even the LMS racer. What we have here is Schaeffler Technologies' 4ePerformance concept, a one-off electric prototype with four motors that together generate 1,180 horsepower's worth of battery power. It'll run to 124 mph in under seven seconds, which is quicker than most cars will accelerate to half that speed.
The sponsor of several of Audi's racing programs handed its technological showpiece over to Daniel Abt, son of the famous Audi tuner and pilot of the factory team's Formula E racer (in which he won two races last season). But instead of driving it forward, Abt was tasked with driving it backwards, as fast as he could.
And fast he went, setting a new world record of 130 mph in reverse. The footage was shot in German, but you won't even need the subtitles to see the speed Abt reached, carefully handling the 4ePerformance at speed in reverse.
That was not only enough to beat the previous record (which stood at 101 mph), but trounce a new Porsche 911 GT2 RS in the process. And the Porsche was driving forward, deploying its 690 horsepower to reach 62 mph in 2.8 seconds and top out at 211 mph – moving forward. Going backwards, it's limited (like most cars) by gearing. It may have seven speeds for going forward, after all, but it still has just one for backing up. And an electric vehicle like this one, with its motors driving the wheels directly, suffers no such limitations.