The Motor Sport days (1 and 2 November) at the British International Motor Show will see an exciting new shape gracing the Land Rover stand in Hall 4 as the company announces its support of the Defender-based Bowler Wildcat in this year’s season of FIA organised cross-country rallies.
Bowler Off Road Ltd built their first vehicle, based on an 88-inch Land Rover chassis, in 1984 and the latest Bowler Wildcat dates from 2000. The 106-inch wheelbase Wildcat features a space frame chassis/roll cage fabricated from T45 tubing clad in stylish aluminium and composite panels designed to give easy access to the power train and equipment. The Bowler Wildcat uses Discovery front and rear axles, a custom suspension system following Land Rover design philosophy and is powered by a variety of Land Rover petrol and diesel engines. The vehicle being supported by Land Rover will carry full Land Rover livery and be powered by a modified 2.5 litre, 5-cylinder Td5 engine developing 160 kW (215 bhp).
The Land Rover supported vehicle will compete in a series of FIA organised cross-country rallies around the world. Featuring both amateur and works teams and with between 70 and 120 competitors the events take place in such diverse locations as France, Italy, Russia, United Arab Emirates and Australia.
Commenting on the partnership, Matthew Taylor, Land Rover marketing director said: "While Defender is the iconic 4x4 utility vehicle, it also has a fun side. Our support of the Bowler team recognises the popularity of off-road sport and enables competitors to enjoy the more extreme end of the Land Rover experience in a managed and responsible manner."
Drew Bowler, managing director of Bowler Off Road Ltd added: "With the Bowler Wildcat being based on the Land Rover Defender we are very pleased to have official support from the company. Our vehicles are designed to compete in the toughest conditions and we use the best components available including the Land Rover V8 and Td5 engines. With Land Rover’s help we are aiming to make our presence felt in this season’s events and give competitors and spectators a thrill or two on the way."Published 25 October 2002