The now JLR-owned Bowler builds the Bowler Defender Challenge using a new Land Rover Defender 90 built to rally.
It’s more than eighteen months since Land Rover gobbled up Bowler to finally bring Bowler’s off-road performance expertise in-house, although we’re yet to see a Bowler-badged Land Rover arrive.
But this new Bowler, built on the standard Land Rover Defender 90 with the P300 engine and set to go dirt rallying in the Bowler Defender Challenge, could well see the start of Bowler add-ons being available for the mainstream Defenders.
The Bowler Defender Challenge has been running for a few years now as a nice way to get into off-road rallying, using the original Defender as its base car. But now it’s the new Defender fettled to play.
The Bowler Defender Challenge car eschews the V8 and uses the 296hp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine from the Defender P300 – and its eight-speed auto – but it provides more than enough grunt for mud-plugging.
Bowler has added the obligatory FIA-spec roll cage, modified the sub0frames to take new performance suspension – which increases ride height by 25mm – installed strengthened mounts, added turret braces and hard-core 18″ wheels. There’s also a new exhaust system, full-length underbody protection and improved cooling with a new front end allowing more airflow.
If you want to go and play in the Bowler Defender Challenge (dates yet to be confirmed), it’ll cost you £99,500 for the Bowler-prepped Defender which includes entry to the Challenge and support on the day.