Gotland. An island in the Baltic Sea. Known for its magnificent medieval ruins, its natural limestone deposits, and for having the best weather in all of Sweden (that last one is controversial). And as of August 2021, it’s also known for the CAKE World’s Race.
The first event of its kind, the CAKE World’s Race pitted 16 of the world’s best male and female motocross, enduro, freestyle, and mountain bikers against each other in “the world’s cleanest dirt race”. Riders flew over the gravel track at Gotland Ring, the world’s first sustainable racetrack, atop CAKE’s revolutionary Kalk OR bikes, with North Carolina’s Seth Stevens taking the top spot.
And while the gravel track was the site of the race, it wasn’t the only stage for electric competition. Trading two wheels for four, each rider took a Polestar 2 to Gotland Ring’s northern loop, competing with their fellow riders for the best time (not as part of the World’s Race). Assisted from the passenger seat by a Polestar engineer, the riders flung the fully electric fastback through the twists and turns of the track, with Sweden’s own Robert Kvarnström winning the event. For many of them, this was their first time driving an electric car.
And they were all blown away. The acceleration, control, and grip were highlights. “I almost lost control, but the car never did,” states German World Junior SuperEnduro Champion Kevin Gallas. “I’m in love with the power,” states Icelandic motocross rider and two-time Motorsports Woman of the Year Anita Hauksdóttir. “Once they try it, they’ll understand,” says Spanish MotoGP and Enduro rider Kirian Mirabet. “It was the same with me. When you try it, you start to think differently about it.”
It also served as the penultimate stop of the “2 on tour” Swedish summer roadshow. A version of our previous roadshow, 2 on tour saw a temporary space offering test drives arriving in Jönköping, Kalmar, Åre, Gävle, and a range of other locations. With test drives fully booked weeks in advance of every stop, it’s clear the automotive house call was appreciated. “I was fully prepared to travel to Stockholm to test drive one,” said a visitor to the Gotland stop. “It looks even better in real life.”
The World’s Race was more than an event for adrenaline junkies and motorsports enthusiasts. It was a statement: electric vehicles don’t take the thrill out of driving. Quite the opposite, in fact. “Initiatives like these are crucial when it comes to showing people just what electric vehicles can do,” says Polestar Head of Marketing Sweden Nils Rylén. “That’s why we were so happy to be involved and to partner with CAKE, a brand that’s on the same zero emission mission that we are.”
“The idea for this event has been a dream since day one,” explains CAKE Founder and CEO Stefan Ytterborn. “We wanted to establish a new ‘people’s sport’, with elite athletes leading the way and providing inspiration. And now we have 16 world-class athletes who I believe will spread the word around the globe.”
And if further proof was required, the Experimental Polestar 2 was also on site. The car, a version of which debuted at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, has been upgraded with more power, Öhlins three-way performance dampers (approximately 30% stiffer than the originals), a lower ride height, and custom front and rear strut bars to increase rigidity.
The inaugural CAKE World’s Race was a success by any measure. The event serves as a shining example of the thrill of e-mobility, proving to anyone still on the fence that it’s much more fun on the electric side. Now, Gotland will be known for more than good weather and beautiful nature. It will be known for electric driving.
Perspective is everything. Travelling by plane is a blast for those who have only ever travelled by car. It’s mundane for astronauts. Electric driving is clearly the superior experience in our opinion. But we make electric cars. How do former petrol-heads feel about it? Android developers with an interest in driving? People who take road trips from Bavaria to Schleswig-Holstein and back, with a brief detour in Finland? What are their thoughts on Polestar 2?
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