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How Fast Can a Car Go in Reverse? (Quick Answers)

A car can be called perfect only when it has versatile driving efficiency. That is, it should be able to move fast at the front as well as be able to move backward. Today we will discuss how fast a car can go backward 

How fast can a car go backwards? 

Although most of the cars have four to seven forward gears, they only come with a single reverse gear. A maximum speed of 15 to 25 mph can be achieved by driving a car straight along with the reverse. Since the reverse gear is only a single gear, the RPM you will get driving backward is limited.

We all have seen cars moving backward in movies. A car can usually be driven quite fast towards the rear. You might think that driving a car backwards is a measure of how fast it can go.

But in fact, it has nothing to do with the maximum speed of the car. But if you want, you can get an idea of ​​its top speed while driving the car backward.

Typically, a car’s top speed during reverse driving will be higher or closer to that of the first gear of driving forward. The first gear of the car is mainly used to pull the car evenly and backward.

The engine of a train locomotive, except for the car engine, can again run at the same speed both front and rear. Below we will discuss how fast can a car’s different types of gear go in reverse: 

Manual car: 

Cars with manual transmission can go reverse in the first gear. It means the first gear enabled reverse driving will provide only 15 to 20 mph top speed. 

Automatic car: 

In the case of an automatic transmission enabled car, it can go as fast as it can go in first gear. So, just like any other car, an automatic gear-enabled car will be able to go in reverse at the speed of 15 to 20 mph.


Race cars have a higher possibility of going reverse compared to normal cars since they are modified. As a result, some cars can even cross 30 mph when driving backward.

Electric car: 

An empty electric car without any load in it can go about 15 mph speed when driving in reverse. The reverse of an electric car doesn’t have any relation with the gear change.

Can a car go just as fast in reverse? 

No, a car can’t go just as fast in reverse. Reverse driving is used to park the car or to move a car from the parking lot. That is why the manufacturers do not feel the importance of putting extra power into the engine when driving backward.

In addition to that, the transmissions do not shift to any higher gears than the first gear. It means when the car will be driven in reverse, it will be only in its first gear. That is why the speed will be up to 20 miles per hour.

So, you won’t be able to drive any faster backward than the way you drive in forward. Although you can simply increase the RPM to go higher by stepping on the gas pedal, it won’t increase the speed or change gear to a higher one when driving backward.

How fast do these cars go in reverse gear? 

Depending on the manufacturers, cars can go in reverse gear at different speeds. For all of them, one thing remains constant and that is that reverse gear only goes up to first gear, not above it.

So, it is not possible to gain too much speed while driving reverse. Starting from the regular sedans, some sports cars and supercars can go at higher speeds when driving backward. Below is a brief discussion on some cars that can go faster in reverse gear: 


The Italian sports car Lamborghini is a powerhouse of speed. The car usually changes its first gear to the second one after crossing the 60-mph speed. So, in the same way, the reverses top speed of a Lamborghini will be 60 mph. 


Generally, the Ferrari goes 40 miles per hour when driving backward. It also follows the rule of single gear shift when driving backward. 


The electric car can go up to 15 mph when driving backward. There is no special reason it cannot go as fast backward as forward. Moreover, the driving reverse does not require a gear change to the direction of torque. 


You can simply go backward by using the clutch pedal to shift your car into the reverse gear. They, in most cases, go around 50 mph in reverse.

Does reverse count as a speed? 

Since there is not any significant use of reverse gear except for parking or moving your car, you can still call this speed. Theoretically, a car driving backward should have the same speed as driving forward.

Because both of the time it uses the first gear to move forward or backward. However, there is a certain limit of speed before the engine reaches it redline. The reverse gear has the functionality to limit the speed to about 35 mph.

For these limits, you can consider the reverse as a speed. Moreover, in modified cars, the reverse gear is faster than the gear of an ordinary car.

So, whenever you are driving backward, pressing the gas pedal will eventually higher the RPM but won’t add any speed to your reverse driving. That is why the reverse gear can be counted as a speed, but with the limit.

How to determine a car’s top speed in reverse? 

The first thing about a car’s top speed in reverse is, it is faster than the fast gear. The reason why reverse gear is faster than the first gear is that the first gear has a higher gear ratio compared to the reverse gear.

And whenever there will be a higher gear ratio, there will also be a significant speed reduction. There are a few things that are taken into account when calculating a car’s stop speed in reverse.

You need to calculate the gear ratio of system of your car. Once you’re done calculating it with proper constants, you can figure out the actual top speed of your car in reverse.

Follow these easy simple steps to determine your car’s top speed in reverse: 

The gear ratio of the whole system: 

When determining the top speed of your car in reverse, you need to calculate the gear ratio of your car’s transmission.

If you see a higher gear ratio in the first gear of your car when driving forward compared to the reverse, it means the reverse gear will have less speed than the forward gear.

The circumference of the wheels: 

The circumference of the wheels is one of the most important parts of calculating the top speed in reverse, so you need to have a proper measurement of it.

And the engine’s rev limit: 

To avoid getting your engine blown when driving in reverse, you need to be aware of the engine’s rev limit. Keeping these points in consideration, you can determine the top speed of your current reverse.

Why can the car go fast in reverse? 

There are plenty of reasons why a car can go fast in reverse. The first thing that interferes with the reverse driving of a car is its gear ratio. The higher gear ratio in the forward gears will create a speed reduction in reverse driving.

That is why, when driving backward, a lower gear ratio will provide you with reduced speeds. Sometimes the reverse speed even interferes with the weight distribution of the car.

In some cases, electric cars can reverse at higher speeds because they do not have any transmission. Below is a brief discussion on the reasons why can the car go fast in reverse:

Gear ratio: 

The first thing that interferes with the car’s reverse speed is the gear ratio. Due to a higher reverse gear ratio, a car can go faster backward. 

First gear and backward gear are the same: 

In most cases, the car runs forward and backward on the same first gear. That is why, if the first gear of a car makes it go faster, the reverse gear will make it go fast as well.

Modification of engine: 

Sometimes the modification of the engine interferes with the reverse driving speed of the car. So, if your car has a modified engine that enables the car to shift its first gear at higher speeds. 

Final thoughts

A car can go from 25 to 35 miles per hour when driving in reverse. It may be different in the case of an electric car because it does not have any transmission. In many cases, the gear ratio may interfere with the reverse driving speed, the higher first gear ratio may cause lower reverse speed.