Good News As Land Rover Grants Bowler A Licence To Use Famous Defender Shape

Land Rover has given Bowler permission to produce vehicles using the classic Defender shape in the next phase of development for the UK-based manufacturer of all-terrain performance cars and rally raid vehicles.

The new agreement paves the way for Bowler to develop a new family of high-performance models, beginning with a project codenamed ‘CSP 575’ – a new road-going vehicle with Bowler’s own rally-proven CSP high-strength steel chassis, aluminium alloy Defender 110 Station Wagon body panels and Land Rover’s 575PS Supercharged V8. This project will supplement the ongoing motorsport developments that are the foundation of Bowler’s past, present and future plans.

Initial renders of the planned 4×4 provide a glimpse of the rally-derived model, which will be the first new Bowler since 2016. Full details will be revealed early next year, but the competition-inspired off-roader promises to combine potent performance and motorsport-honed durability in a classic Defender 110 Station Wagon shape capable of accommodating four passengers.

Founded in 1985, Bowler pioneered the production of dedicated off-road competition cars in the UK. Jaguar Land Rover acquired Bowler at the end of 2019 and its expert team has been developing a number of exciting projects as part of Special Vehicle Operations.

Bowler customers are already benefitting from this relationship as Land Rover SV engineers are helping develop Bowler vehicles and using their engineering expertise to test Bowler products at Special Vehicle Operations’ world-class facilities.

Land Rover’s decision to issue Bowler with a licence agreement to build vehicles using the classic Defender shape is a natural progression of this relationship and the new station wagon project represents a unique undertaking – integrating the technology, components and engineering excellence underpinning Land Rover’s SV products with Bowler’s motorsport expertise and experience.

Michael van der Sande, Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, said: “We’re excited to announce the first major project since our acquisition of Bowler. The ‘CSP 575’ will combine Supercharged V8 performance and four-seat practicality with Bowler’s rally raid-proven CSP platform, broadening the appeal of the brand. This high-performance road-going model will sit alongside Bowler’s evolving range of rally raid models, which continue to enjoy success in the world’s toughest motorsport events.”

The new model will be manufactured in very small quantities at Bowler’s headquarters in Derbyshire, UK, by the same talented engineers and technicians producing its competition 4x4s. With global appeal but targeted at customers in the UK, select European and overseas markets.Calum McKechnie, General Manager, Bowler Motors, said:“The Bowler name has stood for innovation for 35 years. The licence agreement to produce vehicles with the classic Defender shape gives us a unique opportunity. We’re excited to combine our motorsport experience with the expertise available from Special Vehicle Operations to produce a thrilling competition-inspired Defender 110 Station Wagon for the road.”

About Special Vehicle Operations

Special Vehicle Operations is a specialist team of Jaguar and Land Rover designers, engineers and technicians dedicated to amplifying the performance, luxury and capability attributes of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles:

  • SV

Designs, engineers and produces high specification SV-branded Jaguars and Land Rovers, amplifying key characteristics including performance and luxury.

  • Vehicle Personalisation

Undertakes bespoke commissions, one-off vehicles and is responsible for Jaguar Land Rover’s vehicle accessories and Premium Palette paint.

  • Classic

The official source of authentic cars, expert services, genuine parts and unforgettable experiences for classic Jaguar and Land Rover enthusiasts worldwide.

  • Bowler Motors

Derbyshire-based manufacturer of all-terrain performance cars and rally raid vehicles.

Bowler’s motorsport heritage

1985 Drew Bowler begins making and selling competitive safari and trials cars from his home in Derbyshire.

1991 Drew Bowler wins ARC National Comp Safari.

2000 Bowler first competes in world-famous Dakar Rally in Africa, and races in central Europe.

2004 Bowler vehicle wins British Hill Rally Championship.

2005 Bowler’s largest-ever Dakar entry means it’s the second-largest factory team and has the highest finisher rate.

2006 Bowler vehicles win both the British Baja National Championship and the French Baja.

2012 Bowler agrees on a formal brand partnership with Land Rover across sponsorship, marketing and engineering.

2014 Defender Challenge launched to prepare competitors for Dakar. Bowler moves into a new production facility.

2016 CSP platform development begins. Company founder Drew Bowler sadly passes away in November.

2018 Bowler vehicles claim first, second and fourth overall on Tuareg Rallye. Military CSP concept debuts.

2019 Jaguar Land Rover acquires Bowler, adding the business to its Special Vehicle Operations division.

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