The Bowler Defender has been unveiled for a new rally competition series that will be taking place in the UK next year. The kitted out SUV has been based on the Land Rover Defender 90 P300 and features a number of conclusive performance enhancements with some assistance from JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations.
Making it fit for the off-road colosseum, the Bowler Defender has been provided with a full roll cage, modified underbody, raised suspension, rally-grade 18-inch alloy wheels and a pair of column-mounted paddle shifters. Under the bonnet sits the unmodified turbocharged 2,0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine delivering 221 kW and 650 N.m of torque.
Giving the Bowler Defender the edge it needs to speed through a special stage are modified front and rear subframes that have been fitted with additional bracing and a new bespoke performance suspension setup built in conjunction with Fox. With this, the ride has increased by 25 mm.
For improved safety and optimisation, the Bowler Defender has been provided with fire protection, electrical cut-offs and additional lighting and control systems. This equipment has been integrated into the car’s existing electrical architecture. Keeping the driver focused within the cockpit is a set of competition racing seats and a repositioned gear selector.
In order to add structural rigidity to the design, the body of the Bowler Defender has been subtly modify and stiffened to cope with the extreme conditions of off-road competition. In an attempt to save on mass and enhance packaging, the standard doors are trimmed to remove the sill covering section and accommodate the fitment of full-length, side-to-side underbody protection panels.
A modified front end increases airflow to the cooling system and houses additional race-level lighting, while a new roof spoiler houses additional rear lighting.
Packages for the 2022 Bowler Defender Challenge will start at £99 500 (approximately R2,05 million) which includes the car, entry into the 2022 series, which starts in March, and event support. Further options include training, series logistics and vehicle support. A range of accessories developed as part of this programme will be available later in the year.