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Classic Defender shape to live on via Bowler Motors

By Matt Raudonikis, 05 Nov 2020 News

Bowler Defender

Time to swap the tweed jacket for a Nomex race suit, as the Defender bites back.

THE classic Land Rover Defender’s shape will live on, with JLR granting cross-county rally vehicle manufacturer Bowler Motors the rights to continue using the boxy silhouette.

JLR purchased Bowler motors in 2019 and it now operates under its Special Vehicles Operations arm (SVO). Founded in 1985, Bowler engineered and built off-road competition cars for events like the Dakar Rally, most of them using Land Rover-derived bodies.

Bowler customers are already benefitting from the new ownership, as Land Rover SVO engineers are helping develop Bowler vehicles and using their engineering expertise to test Bowler products at Special Vehicle Operations’ world-class facilities.

The renderings submitted with the announcement by JLR show a classic Defender 110 wagon on oversized wheels that is mated to a bespoke chassis with a built-in roll cage.

Powering the beast will be JLR’s familiar supercharged 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine producing 423kW. Expect the chassis to be equipped with bespoke off-road competition-style suspension and brakes to harness all that power.

The vehicle, code-named CSP575 (575PS of power), is intended to be a road-registrable vehicle; in the UK at least, where it will cost upwards of 200,000-pounds.

It is expected that Bowler’s expertise will be used to contribute to further Land Rover Special Vehicles in the future – perhaps those less race-oriented and sans-roll cage, and there’s no reason why a Bowler/SVO-tweaked new Defender won’t be forthcoming as well.

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