Reviewing the Bowler Motorsport Land Rover Defender Challenge car
|   Saturday, March 29, 2014
The Land Rover Defender is an able off road vehicle, which has been used in various rallies around the globe. People who want to go hiking or on off road trails prefer this vehicle to other SUVs in range, due to quite a few advantages this vehicle provides, over others. Bowler Motor Sports has worked on their version of a Defender and this vehicle is known as the EXR S.

Land Rover has put in valuable inputs and sponsored this ride, while major improvements have been made in order to ensure quality and standard of operation.
Despite it's off road capability, this vehicle is completely street legal. This is the perfect vehicle for people who consider travelling on tarmac to be unadventurous or uninspiring. Bowler will provide complete service backup, as and when required. Hence, you do not need to worry about servicing your EXR S or parts availability.

This vehicle has been custom tuned and race prepped, even as it is a pleasure to drive over asphalt. Bowler uses a standard Defender 90 Hard Top as the base. Its interior is completely stripped out and upgraded with racing bucket seats, fire extinguishers, six point racing harness, few timing equipment and a complete roll cage.

The large air bag steering system has been replaced with a smaller and more maneuverable steering column. Lighter door frames, Alcantara suede trim etc, while an advanced transmission system is also in place. Bowler has fitted a remapped ECU to its 2.2 liter Transit derived turbo diesel power plant displacing 170 BHP along with peak torque of 332 ft lb. Customers can choose to fit a mechanical limited slip ring differential for its rear axle.

However, in most other aspects, the Land Rover power train stays intact, including the gear ratios. Bowler replaces the entire chassis, with a sturdy and flexible one, while Bilstein suspension is in place, along with anti roll bars and stiffer suspension springs. Standard suspension bushes are left intact, although engineers recommend them for change every season. 18" alloyed rims are available as standard fit, while race prepped Kumho rally tires are also in place.

Despite all these additions, the Bowler EXR S weighs approximately 1750 kg, which is equivalent to the weight of a stock Land Rover Defender. The roll cage, bucket seats and harness provide discomfort while mounting, but once you are in the vehicle, things seem to settle down pretty fast. Bowler has maintained the upright seating position of a standard Defender, although a smaller steering wheel helps manage the vehicle better.

The pedals are placed too upright and would have been easier to operate, if lowered. However, these problems have remained, ever since this vehicle was manufactured 65 years ago. Modern equipments lend a sporty edge to this vehicle, although it still features technology that is half a century old. Priced at £60,000, the Bowler EXR S is a treat to drive. However, you need to decide whether you want to actually spend this amount on a Bowler.
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