Bowler Motors, an off-road performance vehicle specialist in the UK, has developed a Land Rover Defender rallycar that will compete in its own championship in 2022. Known as The Bowler Defender Challenge, it will consist of seven events in the UK, the first of which is scheduled to be in March.
There are 12 entries available for the one-make series, with each team competing in identical Bowler-prepared Defenders. For those with limited experience or none, the company can offer training and support to gain the necessary licence before moving directly to the series. The Challenge has been an ideal platform on which to gain motorsport know-how before joining other Bowlers and competing in rally-raid events across the globe.
For 2022 and beyond, the Challenge will continue to focus on delivering a fun environment that fosters the development of driving and competition skills yet retains the involving, engaging feel of a real motorsport family.
Defender 90 model used
Bowler will prepare the rallycars using the Defender 90 with a 300 ps Ingenium 2-litre turbocharged petrol engine. Each vehicle will be completely stripped back to install a full FIA-standard roll cage. The front and rear subframes are modified and given additional bracing for a new bespoke performance suspension set-up. Designed in collaboration with Fox, it increases the ride height by 25 mm. In place of the standard wheels are Bowler rally-spec 18-inch wheels.
Bowler’s engineers will add a suite of electronic components, from fire protection and electrical cut-offs to additional lighting and vehicle control systems – all integrated with the existing electrical architecture. Competition racing seats are also installed and the gear selector is repositioned for the optimal racing position. Additionally, Bowler-developed column-mounted paddle shifts will provide quicker shifting action.
During the conversion, the engineers subtly modify and stiffen the already rigid Defender bodyshell to cope with the extreme conditions of off-road competition. The standard doors are trimmed to remove the sill covering section, which allows 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
Packages for the 2022 Challenge will start at £99,500 (about RM574,500) which the vehicle. Options include training, series logistics and vehicle support and customers can also choose from a range of accessories developed as part of this programme .
“The development of the new Bowler Defender Challenge rallycar perfectly illustrates the mutual benefits of Bowler joining Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations. Our technical support married to Bowler’s legendary rally expertise has turned the extraordinarily capable Defender into a purposeful competition machine,” said Michael van der Sande, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations which has owned the Bowler business since 2019.
Incidentally, for those who are interested in getting a new Defender, we hear that Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia will make the model available in the near future. To register your interest, visit www.landrover.com.my.