Bowler is turning the Land Rover Defender into a road-legal rally racer.
The original Land Rover Defender is one of the most instantly recognizable off-roaders in the world. While the design of the all-new Defender remains faithful to its predecessor, there will always be purists that prefer the original off-roader's iconic, more utilitarian shape, which has resulted in a countless number of Land Rover Defender restomods. Purists rejoice because the Land Rover is reviving the classic Defender after it was discontinued in 2018 for an exciting new project.
After acquiring Bowler last year, Land Rover is allowing the off-road racing specialist to build new all-terrain performance cars and rally-raid vehicles using the classic Defender shape.
The first project being built as part of the new agreement is codenamed CSP 575, a new performance off-roader based on Bowler's high-strength steel rally chassis combined with aluminum alloy body panels from the classic Defender 110 Station. And yes, this rally racer will be road legal with seating for four occupants, a roll cage, and comfort features such as air conditioning.
Power will be provided by Land Rover's supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine generating 567 horsepower. This will be Bowler's first new off-roader since 2016 and the project will be co-developed with Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division. Previewed in render designs, the CSP 575 features a raised ride height, massive off-road tires, and a blue Bowler racing livery.
"We're excited to announce the first major project since our acquisition of Bowler. The 'CSP 575' will combine supercharged V8 performance and four-seat practicality with Bowler's rally raid-proven CSP platform, broadening the appeal of the brand," said Michael van der Sande, Managing Director of SVO. "This high-performance road-going model will sit alongside Bowler's evolving range of rally raid models, which continue to enjoy success in the world's toughest motorsport events."
The rally-focused Bowler Defender 110 will be built in extremely limited numbers at the company's headquarters in Derbyshire, UK, by the same engineers and technicians that build its competition 4x4s. Order books will open in Europe and the UK next year, with pricing starting at around £200,000 ($260,083).