With the reborn Land Rover Defender proving a hit, the new off-roader is ready to hit the dirt in pursuit of motorsport glory.
Over seven years ago, EngageSportMode got a little excited about Bowler Motorsport creating a rally series for the original Land Rover Defender.
Fast forward to 2022, and a few things have changed. There is now an all-new Defender, and Bowler Motorsport has been acquired to become part of Land Rover.
Yet some things remain the same. Land Rover has announced that the new Defender will take to the rally stage again. Oh, and Bowler will be in charge of building the special off-roaders.
Fully prepared for rallying
Somewhat disappointingly, Land Rover has not chosen to use the 525 hp V8-powered version of the Defender. Instead, the Ingenium 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine will provide the go, delivering a respectable 300 hp.
The short-wheelbase Defender 90 will form the basis for the Challenge rally car. Bowler will strip out the Defender completely, before installing an FIA-specification roll cage. New front and rear subframes are fitted, along with bespoke suspension designed by Fox Racing.
Increasing the ride height by 25 mm, the Bowler Challenge Defender rally-spec 18-inch wheels, bespoke bumpers, and even a rear spoiler.
UK-based competition plans
Land Rover has not created the new Bowler Challenger Defender for fun. Instead, it will be offered for sale as part of a new UK-based championship.
Planned to begin in 2022, the Bowler Challenge will take in seven events across the UK. Twelve entries will be offered, with each team competing in equal specification Defenders.
Each round will be fully supported by Bowler, with dedicated service areas and hospitality. Bowler hopes that the series will test the teams involved, helping prepare them for competing in bigger rally raid events across the globe.
No experience of off-road motorsport is necessary to take part in the Bowler Challenge. Instead, all that will be needed is a minimum of £99,950 to gain a modified Bowler Defender.
This price will include entry into the seven rounds, along with event support.
Ahead of the 2022 season, Bowler plans to demonstrate the new Defender Challenge 90 next month. The public debut will come on the Iceland Hill Rally 400 km stage event, taking place from 6-8 August.