How fast can an ordinary car go in reverse gear?

Top reasons on how fast can a car go in reverse?

There are many reasons why you can’t drive fast in a reverse direction, like the forward direction. We have explained the top reasons how fast can a car go in reverse and why, for your convenience and safety.

The gearbox

Firstly, it is because of the construction of the car. A car is designed to have a gearbox with four gears for moving forward and one gear for moving in a backward direction. It is because there is no need for fast driving in the reverse direction normally. It can be dangerous for you and the people around you. Fast reverse driving is done mostly for experimental purposes to test the car speed or for adventure in open spaces. But you should not try this in crowded places.

Car suspensions

The second reason is your car suspensions. The car suspensions are designed in such a way that the vehicle moves forward. The suspensions prevent the vehicle from moving fast in the backward direction. So, even if you try your best to drive with a maximum speed in the reverse direction, the suspensions make sure you do not travel in a straight line. 

Your view is not clear while driving in a reverse direction. This is another reason why you can not drive in a straight line. These forward suspensions ensure your safety and those around you. So, the answer to how fast can a car go in the reverse direction is that it can not fast.

Manual and automatic transmission

Whether it is automatic or manual, the transmission mode of your car determines how fast a car can go in reverse. The car can not travel faster in a reverse direction if the transmission mode is automatic. It is because the speed limit is fixed for the reverse direction. If you exceed the limit, the car will stop.

However, if your car has a manual transmission, you would be able to drive in a reverse direction. But most of the experts suggest that it is not safe to drive fast in the reverse direction. You should abide by the common driving rules. 

The reverse gear controls

The reverse gears of the car are designed in such a way that they allow less power and speed to move in the reverse direction. It is because you move the car in the reverse direction, mostly from a standstill position. So, if you drive the car in the reverse direction for too long, it strains the rear suspensions.


The faster you push down on the accelerator pedal, the faster your car will go

This is true in forward motion as well as reverse. What’s more, this rule applies to any type of car and any type of engine—gasoline or electric.

So why does this happen? When you’re driving in reverse (or any gear for that matter), your vehicle has several gears that are used for accelerating and decelerating. When you’re driving forward (and only when you’re driving forward), only one gear is used: first gear. In order to accelerate from a stop light, your transmission must shift into second gear at some point so it can get up to speed quickly enough to pass other cars waiting at red lights ahead of yours. Once it shifts into second gear and begins moving faster than 1 mph (1 km/h), the transmission will shift back into first again because 1st is best suited for low speeds (like parking lots).

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When accelerating from a stoplight in reverse however, there aren’t multiple gears available since cars don’t have reverse gears installed like they do with front-wheel drive transmissions or four wheel independent suspensions systems; therefore, if we want our car’s engine running at full power so we can go fast enough through an intersection without slowing down too much then all we need—just like when going forward—is one internal component called an “enabler” which helps us switch between these two different modes automatically based on how hard we press down on its pedal

Is there any special car that can reverse at high speed?

Yes, electric cars have the potential to reverse at high speeds because they don’t use a transmission. They use electric motors with only one-speed ratio. This means that in reverse gear, an electric car is able to go as fast at it would in drive gear but electric car manufacturers controlled this. They make sure the cars have a reverse limit also in the range of 20-35 mph because it is unsafe. In 2018, Mercedes-Benz G65 was recalled for reversing at high speeds. The reason for this malfunction will surprise you. 

Calculating the Top Speed of a Car in Reverse

If you want to find out the theoretical speed limit of any race car going backward, there is a simple formula you can use:

If you break down this formula, you can see that t

If you break down this formula, you can see that three things can influence the speed of a car when it’s moving, either forward or backward. They are:

  • The engine’s speed and revolution limit
  • The gear ratio of the whole system
  • The circumference of the car’s wheels

The Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ is one of the fastest modified vehicles today with a top speed of more than 300 mph. When Andy Wallace drove it in the Volkswagen-owned Ehra-Lessien test track in Saxony Germany, it reached a record speed of 304.77 mph. 

Under the hood, the Chiron is powered by an 8.0-Liter turbocharged W16 engine. Its powertrain provides 1,479 horsepower at 6,700 revolutions per minute (RPM) and has 1,600 Nm of torque. 

According to Bugatti’s data, the Chiron has a gear ratio of 3.58 for its reverse gear. The record-breaking Chiron was equipped with MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. The front tires were 20-inches in diameter, while the rear tires are 21-inches big.

The Fastest Car When Going in Reverse

Before you plug in these numbers for the Bugatti Chiron, it’s essential first to determine the gear ratio of the whole system first. You can get this figure by multiplying the gear ratio of the reverse gear and the final drive ratio.

Next, convert RPM to RPH by multiplying the first figure by 60. Then, convert 21 inches to miles by multiplying it by 0.0000157828. Finally, multiply the tire’s diameter by 3.1416 (or pi) to get the circumference, then you’re good to go. 

Using the formula above, we get this equation:

Speed of reverse gear= 6,700 RPM x 60 minutes / 3.58 21 x 0.0000157828 miles x 3.1416

Crunching the numbers, we finally got 116.89 mph!

Can a race car win in reverse?

When we take into consideration everything we learned at this point, it’s quite clear—it’s possible for a race car in reverse to win, but not in an official race. If it’s in a drag race, then that can be quite a close match depending on which cars are paired to go against one another. 

If there is anywhere that cars driving in reverse have a higher chance of winning against a forward-moving rival—it would be in the movies. 

Remember the 2 Fast 2 Furious scene where Paul Walker’s character drives in reverse on a freeway? If Bryan O’Conner were lapping other cars, that would put his reverse speed at a whopping 70 mph! 

During the Fast 8- Fate of the Furious, Vin Diesel’s character topped that when he drove backward for a ridiculous 100 mph! However, Dominic Torreto has a modified turbocharged engine and a rig that borders into fantasy. 

Although, some car experts did hypothesize that reaching 100 mph using Dominic’s trick is feasible, but only for a few meters. It will also result in the engine exploding, as depicted by the movie. However, because no one is crazy enough to test it in real life, it’s hard to say if such speeds can be reached while going in reverse. 

Even if, for argument’s sake, someone was able to pull it off—there is no racing discipline where it can dominate. For example, drag races in the US require participants to race in a 400-meter straight course. Meanwhile, drag races in South America typically happen in 200-meter courses. 

RELATED: Do Racing Cars Have Power Steering? 

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