Video: His Majesty's Game: Bowler's Most Famous SUVs
In the courtyard of Jaguar Land Rover, a bunch of freaky specialists in tuning projects gathered and called themselves SVO, Special Vehicle Operations. Their task is to turn mannered civilian cars into motley, expensive and fast game. And it's not that the guys did a bad job: the exuberant Range Rover Sport SVR and the 575hp Jaguar F-Type Project 7 are supremely cool projects. But now fresh blood is flowing into the SVO team in the form of Bowler, and these Derbyshire natives are known for their incredible off-road monsters, against which even the letters SVR fade. We remember the best.
The breakthrough of the pen of the team of engineer Andrew Bowler in the mid-80s was the combat Land Rover Defender. More precisely, some part of it. The body panels of the early Def were married to a shortened Range Rover frame, the design was decently lightened and strengthened, and the 3.5-liter carburetor V8 under the hood was left unpowered. The first Bowler Advanced Racing Car went to the customer, after which the company assembled four more buggy cars. Despite the motor with a capacity of only 126 horsepower, the ARC were fast and took about eleven seconds to accelerate to a hundred. Not bad for a 1980s off-road.
Bowler's company was truly glorified by the wild "cats". Following ARC's Defoe Range, which defined the overall concept, Bowler launched the Defender-based off-road Tomcat - with a racing roll cage! And in the late 90s, an almost independent Wildcat appeared, created on a steel spatial frame-farm and with different motors to choose from. Despite the imitation of the body for Land Rover, the tuners could install BMW or Honda engines under the hood (more precisely, closer to the center of the base) of the Wild Cat. The rest of the hardware was predominantly British. It was Wildcat who opened the doors to the world of Dakar for Bowler's small team. From now on, private teams knew who to call when a reliable, bouncy SUV was required for marathon racing.
The "Wildcat" for the army includes a racing chassis, light armor, grenades and a remote-controlled machine gun on request. It is easy to guess that the Supakets were not prepared for rallies, but for completely military victories: such machines were ordered for airborne units and special forces units that needed light tactical off-road vehicles. By the way, about Supacat. This is not the name of the armored vehicle, but … the name of the company. Combat in the literal sense of the word Bowler was retrofitted by the English company Supacat Limited, assisted by QT Services specialists, who bought a license for an off-road vehicle from Bowler.
The face of the 2007 510-horsepower Nemesis had a clear resemblance to the then Range Rover. Ideologically, the models diverged in different directions. If the Range presented in 2002 was called a land yacht, then the Nemesis project was the development of the Wildcat idea for storming the deserts. The interlacing of the frame and frame tubes remained a feature of the car, but the dependent suspensions were replaced by fully independent ones, on double wishbones and with long-stroke shock absorbers. In terms of dynamics, the supercharged 4.2-liter V8 accelerated the SUV to a hundred in four seconds!
Bowler Nemesis EXR-S
2013 was a landmark year for the company: Bowler set out to enter civilian roads. Prior to the EXR-S, no Bowler had a license for conventional asphalt and remained a purely racing instrument. As a result, unusual positions were listed in the equipment list of the new model: leather interior, rear-view camera, air conditioning. At the same time, no one forgot about the potential, and for the S-version a lightweight composite body in the spirit of RR Sport and a five-liter compressor engine from Jaguar XKR, boosted to six hundred horsepower, were prepared. Just in case, an alternative to this engine was a three-liter diesel "six" with a capacity of "some" 295 hp. At the same time, the chassis of the SUV remained "combat" and almost completely corresponded to the racing specification. The price was also quite "racing": 160,000 pounds sterling (13 million rubles).
Bowler defender challenge
A year later, the company returned to the antiquity "Defu" and prepared a special, universal version - both for roads and for racing. In fact, it was a well-built and speaker-focused Defender with a roadside tolerance. The cost of the car did not become fantastic and was quite earthly 60,000 pounds (4.9 million rubles). At the same time, the client had access to amateur motorsport and a choice of seven British rally championships, including a mono series. Due to the new block firmware, the 2.2-liter "Defender" turbodiesel developed not 122, but 173 forces and 450 Nm of maximum thrust. Not much for Bowler, but good enough for the cause.
In 2016, shortly before the death of the founder of Bowler, the Bulldog debuted on the advanced road-going Cross Sector Platform of its own design. V-shaped "sixes" in petrol and diesel versions were initially chosen as power units. Later, Bowler started talking about the 550-horsepower V8. Interestingly, Drew Bowler himself considered Bulldog his second favorite. After Wildcat, of course …
Defender SVX Specter 4 × 4 Utility
And you could see this joint project of SVO and Bowler: Sony Pictures ordered a batch of tuned Defenders to the British for the movie "007: Spectrum" - for a dynamic pursuit with the participation of an aircraft. The "long" 110 series SUVs received not only the outer cage and jagged 37-inch Maxxis tires, but also the racing suspension on Bilstein components. And in the salon there were sports chairs with four-point belts. At the same time, the power of the 2.2-liter turbodiesel was left at the Defender Challenge level. Of the ten assembled SVO and Bowler machines, three were destroyed during filming in Austria.
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