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First Look

The SV Rover is the supercharged 1,100bhp Bowler Wildcat from hell

Built by Scarbo Vintage and also offered as an EV, the SV Rover blends clever off-road design with a scary amount of metal

Published: 13 Feb 2024

This is the SV Rover by southern California-based Scarbo Vintage, and it takes the Bowler Wildcats of yore and makes them look like domesticated kittens. It’s one of the crazier projects we’ve been introduced to so far in 2024, and yes, it’s street-legal. We don’t know how either.

What we’ve got here is a two-seat, rear-mid-engined, four-wheel drive layout with two powertrain options: a 1,100bhp supercharged V8 (eight-speed automatic) or a 1,005bhp electric alternative. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll have more power than a Bugatti Veyron beneath your right foot, and that’s absurd in a... 'car' like this.

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Depending on the situation, you can even play around with the SV Rover’s modes to enable two-wheel drive, toggle between low and high-range gearing, and even select where the locking differentials are biased. Clever, right?

Other technical details include pushrod front and rear air suspension with as much as 30 inches of free travel, so it’s pretty athletic. Big Brembo brakes and 40in tyres are also planted at each corner and set the tone for a raw exterior design which feels very twentieth-century.

You get circular LED lamps out front and a rear-end which seemingly amalgamates a classic Land Rover’s box shape with a modern Defender’s funky twin light cluster. But more importantly than all that, just look at its dimensions. The massively flared arches and the sheer amount of metal between the ground and where you’re sat is… quite frightening. That’s before you consider the carbon fibre and aluminium composite bodywork. 

Given the size of this thing, making your way to one of the entry points itself will feel like walking a marathon. But when you do get there, you’re greeted by a minimalist cabin featuring dual 12in displays, Alcantara seating and… that’s about it. But that’s fine since the target audience will likely be those who gurn at a flawless Gymkhana run.

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Joe Scarbo, the CEO of the brand, commented: "The SV Rover represents a new extreme in terms of off-road power, manoeuvrability and capability. We are thrilled to unveil this revolutionary vehicle, which combines the nostalgia of classic British design with modern American muscle and technology to deliver a driving experience beyond anything this side of a trophy truck."

No word on pricing yet, but expect it to hover around the £500,000 mark. We say this because Scarbo Vintage’s two other products, a classic Formula One-inspired racer and a reinterpretation of a Singer Porsche, sit at £197,000 and £738,000 each. Thus, placing the SV Rover as the mid-range option would seem like a fair call.

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