Land Rover purchases Bowler

4x4 specialist joins JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations division

Jaguar Land Rover has officially announced the purchase of Bowler, the high-performance 4x4 specialist best known for creating competition and Rally Raid versions of the Land Rover Defender. To be placed under the care of JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations division, Bowler will not be absorbed into the wider company, rather it will sit alongside SVO’s existing SV, Classic and personalisation services.

Bowler was founded by the late Drew Bowler in 1985, and has since then become noted for turning the Land Rover Defender into high-performance competition rally cars and more recently the personalisation and modification of road-going models.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

Despite this foray into the road car business, it’s unlikely that future SVO-engineered models will don the Bowler name, although the branding could work its way onto limited-run or special editions of future models, including versions of the all-new Defender which will commence series production next year.

Michael van der Sande, managing director of JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations, said: ‘For almost 35 years the Bowler name has stood for innovation and success, with a reputation forged by its participation in the world’s toughest off-road motorsport competitions. It’s exciting that we’re now in a position to participate in and lead the Bowler brand’s future as part of Jaguar Land Rover. 

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

‘We are all eager to start working with our new colleagues at Bowler. Adding the Bowler team’s skills and experience to those of SV, Vehicle Personalisation and Classic is a key step in our strategy to create an exciting and diverse portfolio of products and businesses within Special Vehicle Operations.’

Does this mean we might see an extreme Baja-bashing Ford Ranger Raptor-style Defender in future with engineering and manufacturing work carried out by Bowler? With JLR’s keen eye on diversifying the new Defender as much as possible, we wouldn’t put it out of contention.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/ford/ford-puma/202271/197bhp-ford-puma-st-suv-spotted-testing
Ford Puma

197bhp Ford Puma ST SUV spotted testing 

20 Feb 2020
Visit/mercedes/gle/202252/2020-mercedes-amg-gle63-s-coupe-revealed-amg-completes-its-large-suv-offensive
Mercedes GLE Coupe

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe revealed – AMG completes its large SUV offensive

18 Feb 2020
Visit/audi/sq7
Audi SQ7

Audi SQ7 TDI review

30 Jan 2020
Visit/bmw/x3/202132/ac-schnitzer-takes-bmw-x3-m-to-591bhp
BMW X3

AC Schnitzer takes BMW X3 M to 591bhp

21 Jan 2020
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/seat/leon-cupra/22765/new-2020-cupra-leon-revealed-cupra-hits-back-with-hot-hatch-and-estate
SEAT Leon Cupra

New 2020 Cupra Leon revealed

Cupra’s launched not just one, but a whole range of hot Leons to rival the rapidly expanding hot hatch class in 2020
21 Feb 2020
Visit/bmw/3-series/202267/new-bmw-m340d-xdrive-saloon-and-touring-revealed-with-516lb-ft-of-torque
BMW 3 Series

New BMW M340d xDrive Saloon and Touring revealed

BMW has released its range-topping black pump 3-series models, with a predictably impressive torque figure
20 Feb 2020
Visit/honda/civic-type-r/202099/honda-civic-type-r-limited-edition-revealed-amongst-range-wide-updates
Honda Civic Type-R

Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition revealed amongst range-wide updates

Our hopes have been addressed and more, as Honda launches two more Civic Type R versions at the top and tail of the range
20 Feb 2020
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019