This weekend’s Autosport 2014 at the Birmingham NEC, the world’s biggest motorsport fair, Bowler Motorsport will unveil its latest creation based on the Land rover Defender. Bowler, as you may know, is an expert at making Land Rover products go really really fast.
The new car is called the Defender Challenge Rally Car, and as the name clearly suggests, it is a rally car designed and engineered to compete in a one-make rally championship operated by Bowler. The seven-race season, which in terms of ferocity and competitiveness slots below the Wildcat series, begins in March.
The car itself is based on a modified Defender 90 Hard Top. The beauty of the Defender Challenge is that despite being a race car, it is still road legal. So you can use it for some lighthearted off-road fun before as a warm up before you turn up for the rally.
The engine powering the Bowler Defender Challenge Rally Car is the factory-stadnard 2.2 liter turbodeisel uprated to 170bhp and 450Nm by Bowler Motorsport and mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The car also features bespoke Bilstein suspension including new dampers, spring roll-bars and bushes; a Bowler body kit and lightweight 18-inch wheels; two racing seats each with a six-point harness; and a MSA-approved roll cage and fire extinguisher system.
The Rally Challenge Defender is priced at £50,000+VAT and an entry to the 2014 series is £10,000. Land Rover and Bowler are supporters of Race2Recovery team, a group of severely injured soldiers who made history as the first disabled rally team to enter and complete the Dakar rally in 2013. They will be competing in the Challenge series as a training exercise for future events.