• Land Rover May Try to Compete With The Mercedes-AMG G63

The automaker acquired Bowler Motors last year and could develop a Bowler-spec Defender V-8 to take on the luxurious German off-roader

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It seems like Land Rover is done testing the waters with the new Defender and gauging the customers’ opinions. The automaker recently unveiled the V-8 engine on the Defender, will be rolling out the Defender 130 within a couple of years, and has plans to develop a Defender-based pickup truck. As if Land Rover didn’t have a lot on its plate already, it plans to take on the Mercedes-AMG G63 with another iteration of the Defender that will most likely be built under the guidance of its recent acquisition, Bowler Motors.

Land Rover Wants To Build High-Performance 4x4s

Land Rover May Try to Compete With The Mercedes-AMG G63 Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Despite having so many avatars of the Defender in the works, Range Rover didn’t opt for the Special Vehicle Operations division’s services yet. Carsales spoke to SVO’s chief, Michael van der Sande, who said that the new Defender V-8 didn’t carry an ’SV’ or ’SVX’ badge yet because it didn’t have the right "amount of technical changes you would expect on an SV product".

He didn’t explicitly confirm if the product is in the works, but the boss hinted that the automaker could come up with a faster, off-road-centric Defender in the future. “Our purchase of Bowler last year was very intentional", he said. Folks who are into motorsport would have heard of this company for sure. For the uninitiated, Bowler is an aftermarket company that has been modifying and racing Land Rovers since 1985 in motorsport races like the Dakar Rally.

Expect Mind-Numbing Products From Bowler

2013 Bowler EXR S High Resolution Exterior
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Land Rover acquired Bowler last year and will be using it to develop performance off-roaders. Back in 2010, Bowler developed a product called the EXRS based on the Land Rover Range Rover Sport and launched it at the Goodwood Festival of Speed that year. Even though it’s 11 years old now, the spec-sheet could still put performance vehicles from the present day to shame. It came with stuff like:

  • Hydroformed chassis for weight reduction while retaining superior strength
  • A remapped 5.0-liter, supercharged V-8 mill
  • 550 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque
  • Six-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel-drive layout
  • 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds
  • Top speed electronically limited to 155 mph
  • The EXRS weighs just 3,813 pounds; almost 2,000 pounds lighter than the standard 2012 Range Rover Sport
  • Progressive Eibach springs over Bowler-specific Bilstein dampers.
  • 11-inch travel range

Final Thoughts

Land Rover May Try to Compete With The Mercedes-AMG G63 Exterior
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The Defender is a solid vehicle that doesn’t need to be hyped up. If Bowler takes it under its wing and designs it in its own way, the German automaker should feel scared. Clubbing the capabilities of a Defender V-8 and Bowler’s technical know-how, Land Rover could have a super-SUV that, in all likelihood, could prove to be a serious threat to the Mercedes-AMG G63.

The latter has been around for long and is still the undisputed luxurious off-roader, but a Bowler Defender could be a fantastic alternative, too. Land Rover will have to up the ante by many levels to offer the same level of luxuriousness and be careful to not price it more than the AMG G63.

Land Rover May Try to Compete With The Mercedes-AMG G63 Exterior
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The four-door 2022 Defender V-8 starts at $101,750, whereas the Mercedes-AMG G63 starts at $156,450. I stress on the price angle because Bowler’s rendition of the Range Rover Sport was priced at $236,000 a decade back. It was a limited-production model and the high price was justified, but that can’t be the case if Land Rover wants to go up against the G63 now.

Do you think Land Rover-Bowler Defender will be a threatening rival to the Mercedes-AMG G63? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Source: Car Sales

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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