What lurks beneath this bespoke Bowler Defender body is like no other Land Rover before it.
Thanks to a new licensing agreement, the upcoming Bowler Defender will look like a Defender but offer the performance of a supercar.
According to Land Rover, it has given Bowler Motors permission to use the original Defender shape for high-performance vehicles. Land Rover is very protective over the Defender shape and it recently lost a court battle to to trademark the shape of the Defender to prevent Ineos from building its upcoming Grenadier 4X4 (which looks remarkably similar to the Defender).
This new licensing agreement with Bowler Motors, however, is hardly a surprise, as the UK-based manufacturer of bespoke all-terrain performance cars and rally raid vehicles is now officially a part of Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division.
“The Bowler name has stood for innovation for 35 years. The licence agreement to produce vehicles with the classic Defender shape gives us a unique opportunity. We’re excited to combine our motorsport experience with the expertise available from Special Vehicle Operations to produce a thrilling competition-inspired Defender 110 Station Wagon for the road,” Calum McKechnie, General Manager, Bowler Motors said.
The codename given to the new Bowler Motors road-going prototype is CSP 575, as its peak output of 423kW is equivalent to 575PS (metric horsepower). That power is produced by a Land Rover 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine and it’s housed in Bowler’s rally-proven CSP high-strength steel chassis, wrapped in an aluminium alloy Defender 110 Station Wagon body.
At this stage we can only show you the attached renderings of the CSP 575, but it will be Bowler’s first new vehicle since 2016. Land Rover says more details will be announced next year.
Michael van der Sande, Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, said of the CSP 575: “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. 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.”
Of course, the CSP 575 won’t come cheap. In fact, it’s going to be bloody expensive! How expensive? Around £200,000 by the time it goes on sale in the UK. If it ever makes it here, it’d likely cost upwards of A$400,000! It will come with air conditioning though…