News : Bowler and Land Rover join forces… finally!

Land Rover and Bowler, the UK-based manufacturer of all-terrain performance cars and rally raid vehicles, have agreed to a brand partnership, formalising a relationship that has been in place for over a decade.

Bowler and Land Rover

Under the new agreement, ‘Powered by Land Rover’ badging on Bowler’s competition cars and across its marketing materials acknowledges the role that Land Rover technology plays in the performance and race success of Bowler products.  The ‘Powered by Land Rover’ branding will also be highlighted in joint event and promotional activities.

Bowler will benefit from access to components – powertrain and chassis engineering in particular – and technical and development support from Land Rover.  In addition, the agreement provides a secured piece of ongoing parts business and allows Land Rover’s engineers to stretch themselves creatively and technically on an extreme performance-orientated programme that brings further knowledge to the core road-going Land Rover range.

From its first competition vehicle of the mid-1980s, Bowler has based its racers on Land Rover technology.  The company’s latest models – the EXR rally raid competition car and the road-going EXR S – both use modified engines, chassis and other components from the Range Rover Sport.

Mark Cameron, Land Rover Brand Experience Director, Global Marketing, said: ‘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.
‘For over twenty years, Land Rover’s technology has powered Bowlers on some of the toughest and most gruelling off-road sporting events in the world.  We’re proud to have been part of Bowler’s success and, just as its latest models come to market, this new formal partnership will fully acknowledge the role of Land Rover technology in Bowler’s high performance all terrain cars.’

Bowler EXR and EXR S

Bowler EXR-S

Bowler pioneered rally raid cars in the UK and is a global market leader in the production of racing and all-terrain performance vehicles, all of which are Powered by Land Rover.  Following in the footsteps of its predecessors – the Bowler Wildcat (produced from 1997 to 2007) and Nemesis (2006-2011) – the new EXR was designed, developed and produced to compete in the world’s toughest rally raid events, including the Dakar Rally, the Silk Way Rally and those that comprise the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies.  These off-road events last between three and 15 days, with up to 900km covered each day.

Several generations of Bowler models, including the latest EXR model, will be competing in the Rally Reykjavik (Iceland) in September and will be supported during the event by Bowler’s factory service crew.

The Bowler EXR rally-raid competition car – on sale from £145,000 plus local taxes – fully conforms to FIA T1 specifications.  It uses a modified version of the naturally-aspirated 5.0-litre V8 Range Rover Sport petrol engine, which is restricted to 300bhp maximum power in line with FIA restrictions.  The EXR is fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox and Ricardo front, centre and rear differentials.

Building on the brand’s strong heritage, the new Bowler EXR S is the first Bowler engineered for road use.  It shares the EXR’s hydroformed base chassis (with the engine moved 300mm rearward) and various switchgear, light clusters and grilles, all from the Range Rover Sport.  The EXR S also shares the same strong and lightweight composite body panels with its competition-bred stablemate.

The Bowler EXR S is fitted with a modified version of the Range Rover Sport’s supercharged 5.0-litre V8 producing 550 bhp and 705 Nm.  With such power and torque available in a package as light as 1800 kg, accelerating to 60 mph takes just 4.2 seconds and top speed is limited to 155 mph.  The EXR S boasts the six-speed ZF automatic transmission and E-diff from the Range Rover Sport 5.0-litre V8 Supercharged.

The Bowler EXR S Powered by Land Rover is priced from £155,000 plus local taxes and will make its international debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (28 June-1 July), where it will be on display at the Bowler Off-Road Activities Field…

Keith Adams


  1. Ah, just the thing for taking little Tarquin and Jemima on the arduous urban trek to school…

  2. You should see the money spent on old j reg 90’s to turn them into challenge landrovers- five grand on a Gigglepin front winch for instance.

  3. finally, Paris-Dakar is for Land Rover/Bowler, at last, lets hope already for this year 2012/2013???

  4. Win-win situation for both sides I’d say. Bowler get access to LR engineers and guaranteed parts; LR get halo effect of Bowler.

  5. i just think so what?only people with big money buy these toys,so what halo effect? once you get some footballer in one of these things the brand will be screwed-it would be like worshipping your wife one day and seeing her as a jizzmop the next.

  6. @6- francis brett,

    Only people with big money buy Range Rovers anyway. Rangies are already the default choice of footballers, their wives, and the likes of Katie Price, and that does not seem to have devalued what has long been the ‘bling’ brand for Land Rover…

  7. I dont think katy price is going to buy a pink £155k bowler anytime soon,imagine if a gasket blew on the sand dunes-she could squeeze some instant gasket out of one of her cans!

  8. I don’t get exactly we bemoan what has become of Range Rover. They’re incredibly desirable at the moment, good looking and still brilliant on the dirt. Want a footballers’ car? Get a Bentley. You see loads of them down the Manor Road. And as for the argument about clogging the roads with upper-class mums and sons – Firstly, I was privately educated and was never driven around in anything better than a Mini, and secondly, it’s this or a Ford Galaxy. Rangie… Galaxy…? Tough choice, eh!

    A Bowler linkup may see a few more hardcore Landies, though, and with the new Defender around the corner, that’s no bad thing.

  9. Can you get rid of the bloody ads that pop up in the middle of the text – they’re distracting me from teh content. I know what a petrol engine and a manual gearbox is for goodness sakes, and I can guess at what a performance vehicle is without Autotrader playing me a movie.

  10. @9 H.Jones,

    I may not personally want to drive a Rangie, but I’m glad they are doing well at this time. I really don’t see why you should consider a Range Rover’s only rival as a family car to be a Ford Galaxy- there are many other rivals, almost all of which would be much more practical.Indeed there are other LR products which are more practical than this.

    And they are only good on the dirt if they are wearing the right tyres. Typically, they come with ‘blinged up’ rapper’s delight oversized alloys with decorative bits of rubber attached. Who in their right mind would buy a car this expensive to use in the dirt? There are legions of anecdotes by drivers of everyday FWD cars who have waltzed past struggling Range Rovers and X5s during the recent bad winters.

    Its got little to do with class warfare. Besides, most self-styled ‘upper middle class’ (at least outside of London) would rather be seen in something a little less gauche than the grandly ostentatious Range Rover. C’mon matey, you don’t think a Range Rover is a wee bit over engineered for the kind of use that the average family requires, assuming that doesn’t involve towing horseboxes or boat trailers?

  11. Always felt Land Rover should have made more of the OverFinch connection. When Overfinch went i to administration, this brand could and should have been purchased to be a sub-brand in the same way that AMG is to Mercedes for example.

  12. 12. OverFinch was much more of a ‘blinging’ operation (for want of a better word), and LR can already do that in-house through their Autobiography department, wheras Bowler is much more about competition. Its not all that likely that Bowler will greatly increase sales as a result, but they can take advantage of LR R&D, whilst Land Rover can gain kudos through association with Bowler’s competition success.

    OverFinch made more sense back in the day when ‘personalisation’ options for the Range Rover were more limited, and the power options were basically one petrol and one diesel- even the venerable Rover V8 had its work cut out to give a good account of itself due to the Rangie’s colossal weight. OverFinches GM V8 engine swaps were quite popular, and were much more powerful than the standard lump.

  13. @12 i would have overfinch anyday over this bowler nonsense,and trust me forget the tyres thing the range rover will still piss rings round an X5 or Q7 stood on its head,get in any landrover at all and you have the feeling that it can do it regardless of thier poor reliability trust me i know i have left stupid X6’s(thier only purpose to announce to the world the owner is a twat) behind in just snow never mind the ice,you can get an RR in any trim you like of course but give me a dignified,understated vogue anyday.

  14. @13 overfinch had certain cache about it,seeing that on the bonnet made it special even if it only had lambswool mats in it.So bowler get R+D access?only what LR wants it to have,lets face it transmission wise its ZF or Getrag or LR engines Fair enough,none of them could stand upto competition use so they will add ashcroft components that are far more robust as opposed to bespoke built stuff from LR they are low volume toys and put bowler on the map (who?)we had G4 challenge stuff from LR did we not?its a story fair do’s but not important,LRare a runaway success let bowler have the crumbs of reflected glory……….

  15. that orange bowler fton view looks like a Scimitar…not good. they older one looked better. new one looks ok from behind. but other than that good news i guess, even the LR-RV8 powered ones used to fly literally 🙂 alex

  16. Does anyone remember the first time a Bowler was on Top Gear? The words ‘I am a driving god’ came from the tooth whitened shortarse! I prefer the looks of the original Wildcat, not the Range Rooney looks of the current Bowlers. It was a shame what happened to Overfinch, as they were the original makers of seriously quick Rangeys & Landys, ripping out the old Buick V8 and fitting a 5.7 litre Corvette engine to the Defender and Rangey.

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