Derbyshire, England - Jaguar Land Rover looks set to take its performance vehicle game to the next level, with the British carmaker having just purchased off-road performance specialist Bowler.

The company will serve as the fourth business unit in JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations, joining SV, Vehicle Personalisation and Classic.

Bowler is credited with having pioneered the production of dedicated all-terrain racing vehicles in the UK and has also found success in international rally raid events. The company was founded in 1985, and has enjoyed a close relationship with Land Rover since its inception. This was formalised in a brand partnership seven years ago, which led to the creation of the Defender Challenge Bowler rally series, which ran from 2014 until 2016.

Sadly, the company’s founder Drew Bowler passed away unexpectedly in 2016, but the Bowler team, including some of Drew’s family members, have kept the flag flying.

“The expertise Bowler has amassed for all-terrain vehicle dynamics, low-volume production techniques, and proving the durability of components under extreme conditions, is highly sought-after,” Land Rover said during its announcement of the purchase.

JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations boss Michael van der Sande added:

“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.

“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,” Van der Sande concluded.

IOL Motoring