MOTORING: Land Rover fans get performance Defender to dream about

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The original Land Rover Defender silhouette lives on. Photo submitted.

LAND Rover has given permission for a new generation of performance vehicles to be produced – using the classic Defender shape.

The new agreement paves the way for UK-based manufacturer Bowler to develop a new family of high-performance models, beginning with a project codenamed ‘CSP 575’.

This will be a new road-going vehicle with Bowler’s rally-proven chassis, aluminium alloy Defender 110 Station Wagon body panels and Land Rover’s 575PS Supercharged V8.

Initial renders of the planned 4×4 provide a glimpse of the rally-derived model, which will be the first new Bowler since 2016.

Full details will be revealed early next year, but the competition-inspired off-roader promises to combine potent performance and motorsport-honed durability in a classic Defender 110 Station Wagon shape, capable of accommodating four passengers.

Founded in 1985, Bowler pioneered the production of dedicated off-road competition cars in the UK. Jaguar Land Rover acquired Bowler at the end of 2019 and its expert team has been developing a number of exciting projects as part of Special Vehicle Operations.

The latter’s MD Michael van der Sande said: “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 Cross Sector Platform (CSP), 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.”

The new model will be manufactured in very small quantities at Bowler’s headquarters in Derbyshire, by the same engineers and technicians producing its competition 4x4s. With global appeal but targeted at customers in the UK, select European and overseas markets, indicative pricing for the new model is around £200,000 in the UK.

Calum McKechnie, general manager of Bowler Motors, said: “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.”

For more details or to enquire about the new Bowler ‘CSP 575’ station wagon project, please see www.bowlermotors.com