Land Rover Turns to V8 Power in Defender Battle

After losing the UK rights over the iconic Land Rover Defender shape, the automaker has turned to souped-up V8 power to battle it out in the marketplace.

It now hopes its sub-brand Bowler Motors, acquired in 2019, will give its new 570bhp CSP 575 Defender 110 the competitive advantage over arch rival Ineos that won an appeal court action to use the famous boxey Defender shape for its own BMW-engined Grenadier. Bowler’s new vehicle was co-developed with Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations engineering department.

It employs the automaker’s in-house 5.0-liter supercharged V8 motor housed in Bowler’s own rally-proven CSP high-strength steel chassis and aluminum alloy Defender 110 Station Wagon body panels. This project will supplement Bowler’s ongoing motorsport developments. It also boasts four sports seats, a roll cage and comfort features such as air conditioning.

However, the price tag of this rally inspired beast it likely to exceed $220,000, a long way ahead of it Grenadier competitor which is expect to hit the showrooms from around $60,000. 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 engineers and technicians producing its competition 4x4s.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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