It looks like Jaguar Land Rover will soon be making more high-performance SUVs and crossovers in the not so distant future. This comes after JLR recently bought Bowler Motorsport.
Known the world over for modifying Land Rover vehicles for off-road racing and building rally raid vehicles, the off-road specialist will now work along side JLR's Special Vehicle Operations (SVO). With it, Bowler Motorsport will be a natural fit alongside the SVO's other businesses: SV, Vehicle Personalization, and Classic. JLR claims that all four businesses will amplify both Jaguar and Land Rover's key attributes.
“At Special Vehicle Operations we are all eager to start working with our new colleagues at Bowler. Adding the Bowler team’s skills and experience to those of SV, Vehicle Personalisation and Classic is a key step in our strategy to create an exciting and diverse portfolio of products and businesses within Special Vehicle Operations,” said Michael van der Sande, Managing Director at JLR SVO.
Despite being bought by JLR, the automaker stated that Bowler Motorsport will continue to exist as a company and that none of its employees will be axed or be relieved from duty. van der Sande added that their immediate focus will be to ensure the continuity of support for Bowler customers during the transition to JLR. In addition, Land Rover also said that Bowler Motorsport will continue its operation at its HQ in Belper, Derbyshire instead of moving into JLR's SVO HQ in Coventry.
“For almost 35 years the Bowler name has stood for innovation and success, with a reputation forged by its participation in the world’s toughest off-road motorsport competitions. It’s exciting that we’re now in a position to participate in and lead the Bowler brand’s future as part of Jaguar Land Rover,” added van der Sande.
With JLR acquiring Bowler Motorsport, does this mean that SVO- or SVR-modified vehicles will be discontinued and be replaced by Bowler-specific models? Not exactly. There are no plans by JLR to axe existing SVR high performance (or SVO) models with Bowler-badged vehicles. However, there is a possibility that existing and future JLR vehicles will be launched as special Bowler models under JLR.
As Bowler Motorsport is now part of JLR, perhaps we will see more powerful off-road versions of the Defender, Discovery, and maybe even the Range Rover in the near future. Mercedes-AMG might want to watch their backs on this one.