Land Rover fomalizes deal with off-road partner BowlerThu, 21 Jun 2012
Land Rover finalized a deal with Bowler on Thursday that formalizes an existing arrangement as Bowler—a U.K.-based builder of rally raid cars—has been a working with Land Rover for more than a decade.
Bowler competition vehicles will now compete with “Powered by Land Rover” badges, a slogan that will also be highlighted in customer and marketing events.
Bowler will also get access to Land Rover parts and benefit from “technical and development support” from the firm. They will also help Land Rover “engineers to stretch themselves creatively” by working on more hard-core off-road models.
Bowler has been creating off-road cars for 25 years. The first Bowler, an ARC-spec prototype, was based on an 88-inch Land Rover chassis. It was converted to coil springs and used a 2.2-liter twin-carb engine. In 1989, the company made the Bowler Tomcat. That vehicle established the brand in off-road competition.
The company is probably most famous for its Wildcat off-road vehicle. The Wildcat was based on the 100-inch Land Rover but had a tubular frame, resulting in a lighter and faster vehicle.
The company currently builds the EXR and EXR S models, which have competed in the Dakar Rally, the Silk Way Rally and a few other FIA events. The EXR S is fitted with the 5.0-liter supercharged engine from the Range Rover Sport.
“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,” said Mark Cameron, Land Rover brand experience director of global marketing.
Drew Bowler, managing director of Bowler, agreed.
“It is Land Rover's support as well as its technology that has helped Bowler to 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 competition racing—I'm very pleased that the relationship has been formalized.”
By Jake Lingeman