Going racing in a Land Rover Defender
Some would say a Defender is not an ideal race car for novices. Our evidence suggests otherwise…
Posted: 25 Mar 2014
So this Defender, and some 14 Bowler-prepped clones, will spend this year charging along Britain’s mud tracks, green lanes and gravel paths in the inaugural one-make Defender Challenge series designed to help novice drivers and navigators onto the first rung of the rally-raid ladder.
Inexperienced driver? Happy to help, Drew. Fire the standard turnkey ignition, and the Defender grumbles to life, not with the bark of a race-spec V8 but a very familiar diesel chunter. The race Defender retains the road car’s 2.2-litre 4cyl diesel, a venerable block that can trace its origins back to the old Transit van. Thankfully, Bowler has augmented the Defender’s standard 120bhp output, an ECU flash upping power to 170bhp and 331lb ft of torque. This car, however, boasts the Stage 2 tune, which adds a new turbo, intercooler, induction kit and exhaust for an output of 180bhp and – significantly – a grunting 413lb ft.