When production of a vehicle surpasses two million units, it enters a new echelon of significance - think the Citroen 2CV, Ford Fiesta and VW Beetle - and among those greats sits a British legend, the Land Rover Defender. Over the years, Land Rover has tickled and tweaked its off-road icon to make it better on road and more capable off, but when it comes to improving the performance of the venerable 4x4, you have to look elsewhere.
Enter Bowler, the Derbyshire based tuners and augurs of the Defender's true potential. Well, sort of. See, they weren't merely out twist the thing into a flashy Chelsea tractor, quite the opposite in fact, and that meant rather a lot of alterations were necessary. Starting with the lesser known Tomcat, built using a Discovery chassis with Defender body parts, they soon moved on to the vehicle which put them on the map, the Wildcat. With a tubular space frame and Defender-esque fiberglass body panels, the Wildcat used a 5.0-litre V8 engine to reach 60mph in just 4.8 seconds, exactly what was required to compete in events such as the French Baja, British Hill Rally Championship and Dakar.
Today's Spotted hasn't required quite such drastic changes, but it does have that same Bowler DNA throughout. This Defender 110 has been fitted with the firm's fast road suspension package, which includes bespoke Bilstein dampers and springs, as well as stage one and stage two power upgrades. With a new hybrid turbo, race spec intercooler and a race exhaust system upping the power to 195hp and 380lb ft, the modifications drop the 0-60mph time significantly from 15.5 to 8.5 seconds - without compromising the Defender's off-road ability.
Beyond that the Bowler stays lean with lightweight motorsport wheels wrapped in all-terrain tyres, and the interior has been improved with SVX bucket seats, a perforated Alcantara headliner, Momo Alcantara steering wheel, and Bowler gear shifter and transfer lever. Lights were never the Defender's strong point either so the company has fitted Lazer ST4 lights to the roof and front bumper too.
Now, a Defender with added motorsport heritage thrown in doesn't come cheap and, at £54,995, this isn't exactly what you would call a steal. But the upgrade package including the engine tune and exhaust costs £25,155 alone, and it's quite hard to find a 2014 110 for less than £25,000, so you aren't being taken for a ride either. Not one that won't put a massive smile on your face, at least.
SPECIFICATION - BOWLER DEFENDER 110
Engine: 2,198cc, four-cylinder turbo diesel
Transmission: six-speed manual, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 195@3,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 380@2,000rpm
First registered: 2014
Recorded mileage: 29,000 miles
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £54,995
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