Fans of BBC Top Gear should be familiar with the sight and sound of the exciting Land Rover-based Bowler all-terrain performance and rally raid vehicles. And now the British company has signed a brand partnership with Land Rover to formalize a relationship that has existed for more than ten years.
Under the agreement, Bowler’s competition cars and marketing materials will be badged “Powered by Land Rover”.
Bowler will benefit from access to powertrain and chassis engineering in particular, and technical support from Land Rover. In addition, it will allow Land Rover engineers access to a high-performance program that brings further knowledge to its range.
From its first competition vehicle in the mid-1980s, Bowler has based its racers on Land Rover technology. The company’s latest models – the rally raid EXR and road-going EXR S – both use modified engines, chassis and other components from the Range Rover Sport.
Mark Cameron from Land Rover said: “Bowler vehicles demonstrate the kind of performance, ride, handling and chassis dynamics that a vehicle powered by Land Rover is capable of when taken to the extreme and liberated of most practical constraints.
“For more than 20 years, Land Rover’s technology has powered Bowlers on some of the toughest off-road sporting events in the world. We’re proud to have been part of Bowler’s success and, just as its latest models come to market, this new partnership will acknowledge the role of Land Rover technology in Bowler’s high performance all-terrain cars.”
Drew Bowler from Bowler said: “It is Land Rover’s support as well as its technology that has helped Bowler gain an incredibly strong reputation for extreme off-road performance over the last two decades. And as we embark on a new era for the business – introducing our first model engineered for use outside racing – I’m very pleased that the relationship has been formalized.”
Bowler is a global market leader in the production of racing and all-terrain performance vehicles. Following in the footsteps of its predecessors – the Bowler Wildcat (1997-2007) and Nemesis (2006-2011), the new EXR was designed, developed and produced to compete in the world’s toughest rally raid events, including the Dakar Rally, the Silk Way Rally and that FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies.
Several generations of Bowler models, including the latest EXR model, will be competing in the Rally Reykjavik (Iceland) in September and will be supported during the event by Bowler’s factory service crew.
The Bowler EXR conforms to FIA T1 specifications. It uses a modified version of the naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 Range Rover Sport engine, restricted to 300hp in line with FIA restrictions. The EXR is fitted with a six-speed manual transmission plus Ricardo front, center and rear differentials.
The new Bowler EXR S is the first model engineered for road use. It shares the EXR’s hydro-formed base chassis plus various switchgear, light clusters and grilles from the Range Rover Sport. The EXR S also shares the same lightweight composite body panels as its competition stablemate.
The Bowler EXR S is fitted with a modified version of the Range Rover Sport’s supercharged 5.0-liter V8 producing 550hp. With such power available in a lightweight package, acceleration to 60mph takes just 4.2 seconds and th top speed is limited to 155mph.