Bowler is building a new-old Defender with 567bhp | Top Gear
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Bowler is building a new-old Defender with 567bhp

Land Rover gives Bowler permission to use Defender shape for rally-raid racers

Published: 04 Nov 2020
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This is not yet another resto-modded Land Rover Defender. It’s a brand new car from Bowler – builder of superb Land Rover-based off-road racers since the mid-Eighties. The company’s first new car since 2016.

Land Rover, which has owned Bowler since last year, has given the Derbyshire-based company permission to revive the original Defender shape for its next car and future “high-performance vehicles”. Which is a big deal. But while it might look like an old Defender, with aluminium alloy 110 Station Wagon body panels, it certainly isn’t one underneath.

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The CSP 575 (just a codename for now) will be based on Bowler’s existing race-bred ‘CSP’ high-strength steel chassis and use JLR’s 567bhp supercharged V8. You know, the one from the F-Type, Range Rover Sport SVR and so-on. And yes – it will be a “road-going vehicle” with seating for four and “some comfort features such as air conditioning”, but also a roll cage and presumably some pretty serious suspension. 

It’s being co-developed with Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division, but will be built in “very small numbers” at Bowler’s HQ. Order books are set to open next year, initially only for customers in the UK and EU. The price? Around £200,000. Which actually isn’t bad considering Bowler’s pedigree, and the ludicrous sums of money companies you’re never heard of charge for those tarty V8-engined Defender resto-mods.

We’re excited. Are you?

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