Land Rover has given Bowler Motors, part of its Special Vehicle Operations division since the end of 2019, permission to use the original Defender shape. If you’ve never heard of Bowler before, they’ve been turning out HiPo Defenders for use in European Rally Raid events for many years. The one you’re likely to remember is the Bowler Wildcat, as driven by ‘I’m a driving god’ Richard Hammond, before he had all of those accidents.
Now, if the rendering is anything to go by, Bowler is about to create the straightest ever old-school Defender with no rivets or wavy panels. It almost looks like an INEOS Grenadier, or something.
Anyway, this is great news for the three people in Australia and millions of people in other countries that love the old Defender. It means that the original Defender’s instantly recognisable shape lives on, with a connection to Land Rover and set up for some serious shenanigans as part of a new family of Bowler hi-performance models.
Bowler is going to kick the whole shebang off with a road-going super straight original Defender body project its codenamed ‘CSP 575’. It’ll feature a CSP high-strength steel chassis, super straight aluminium Defender 110 Station Wagon body panels and a Land Rover supercharged V8, that’s good for 575PS or 423kW.
The CSP 575’s structure includes a full internal roll-cage that is integral with the CSP chassis. Inside there will be four sports seats and even an air conditioner for those sweaty brow moments.
Yes, it’s going to cost a bomb, with indicative pricing quoted as £200,000 in the UK. The CSP 575 will be produced in ‘very small quantities’ for customers in the UK and select European and overseas markets, which may or may not include Australia.
Expect more news on the CSP 575 in 2021, right around the time the order book opens.