Bowler is a UK-based pioneer in producing dedicated off-road competition vehicles. The auto builder has recently debuted its newest rally-prepped SUV, the Land Rover Defender 90. This hardcore Defender is not a concept but rather a competition-spec rally car specifically built to compete in the one-make Bowler Defender Challenge series in 2022.
“Our technical support married to Bowler’s legendary rally expertise has turned the extraordinarily capable Defender into a purposeful competition machine,” said Michael Van Der Sande, Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO). “The Bowler Defender challenge will prove the Defender’s durability through some of the toughest conditions.”
Bowler’s newest rally machine starts with a Land Rover Defender 90 P300 equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged Ingenium four-cylinder engine. Pumping out 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, Bowler modified the cooling system, gave the vehicle a custom exhaust, and installed a high-flow air intake to improve engine performance.
Rally racing is a demanding sport, so Bowler gave its Defender 90 reinforced underpinnings. The front and rear subframes are new, and Bowler added stiffer engine and transmission mounts. Also, Bowler removed the sill coverings on the doors to make room for full-length, side-to-side underbody protection panels.
Of course, the pared-back interior has a full FIA-standard roll cage. Bowler even relocated the factory gear shifter to provide “the optimal racing position,” but the SUV now gets column-mounted paddle-shifters like a proper racing machine. Also standard are racing seats, electrical cut-off switches, polycarbonate windows, and six-point racing harnesses.
On the design aspect, the Bowler Defender 90 has a custom front bumper and grille, a prominent roof spoiler with an extended profile, wheel arch extensions, and front and rear wing shields for added protection. The SUV is riding on bespoke Bowler 18-inch wheels, chunky all-terrain tires, and Fox suspension. Other rally goodies include rally-spec mudflaps, high-level rear marker lights, a fire extinguisher, and additional LED driving lights that offer better illumination in the dark.
The Bowler Land Rover Defender will make its public debut on August 6 to 8 at the 2021 Iceland Hill Rally. Meanwhile, the Bowler Defender Challenge series will commence on March 2022. If you fancy a spin, the pricing packages start at £99,500 (around $134,000) and include a Bowler Land Rover Defender, entry into the 2022 challenge series, driver training, and vehicle support.