The Bowler CSP 575 is a brand new 575PS old Defender

10th November 2020
Bob Murray

It’s back, and this time it’s angry. The Defender, that is. Land Rover has given the green light to a return of its 4x4 icon – as a rally raid-inspired all-terrain supercar to cost around £200,000. The name on the nose won’t be Land Rover but Bowler, the off-road racing specialist which Land Rover bought at the end of 2019.


The new machine, codenamed CSP 575 and previewed by this blue car, is a Defender 110 Station Wagon like no other. It marries the familiar shape with a slew of Bowler performance enhancements – including the underpinning of the aluminium body with the same high-strength steel chassis Bowler uses in its international rally raid competition cars.

The chassis – called cross-sector platform, hence the CSP in its name – will be tested by 575 horsepower of a familiar JLR engine: the supercharged 5.0-litre V8 from the Range Rover Sport SVR. No performance figures are quoted, but anyone who remembers seeing Bowler cars at Goodwood in the past will know how hard they can go. Its EXR-S model in 2010 was faster up the Hill than some supercars.


With four seats, air-conditioning and luggage space, CSP 575 is intended primarily as a road car. But it will live up to its motorsport heritage by likely being just as at home in a desert or mountain range. Bowler says it has added “a little refinement for road use while still retaining the unmistakable rawness and motorsport passion of a Bowler.” Each car will come with a full safety cage.

CSP 575 has been developed by Bowler and engineers from JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) of which Bowler has been part since 2019. When it goes into limited production at Bowler’s base in Derbyshire it will be the first new old-shape Defender since the 67-year-old stalwart went out of production almost five years ago. The first cars are expected to be ready in the second half of 2021. All will be hand built to order with indicative pricing around £200,000.


Bowler pioneered the production of dedicated off-road competition cars in the UK in 1985. It has made its own bespoke models such as the Wildcat and EXR as well as specialising in making Land Rover Defenders go faster for fun and sport. In 2012 it entered into a partnership with Land Rover on a range of projects including the Defender Challenge.

“The Bowler name has stood for innovation for 35 years,” says Bowler general manager Calum McKechnie. “We’re excited to combine our motorsport experience with the expertise available from Special Vehicle Operations to produce a thrilling competition-inspired Defender 110 Station Wagon for the road.”

Land Rover’s green light for the reborn classic opens the way for what the company says will be a family of high-performance Bowler models. “It is the first of several new projects to be announced over the next couple of years, (but) don’t worry, we’re not straying from our motorsport roots,” confirms Bowler.

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