Crafted in the small English city of Derby, the Bowler EXR-S is what happens when you put a Range Rover on a diet. It’s built around a hydroformed Range Rover Sport chassis, it packs a lightweight composite body, and beneath its handsome lines lies a furious V8. Across the world’s roughest roads, there might not be anything faster… at least anything street-legal.
There’s a good reason for that too. The EXR-S is the road-going version of Bowler’s EXR, a rally raid off-roader also based on the Range Rover Sport.
In street legal format, the EXR-S packs on a smattering of the Sports’ luxury features—including heated door mirrors, dual climate control, and a Bluetooth-connect audio system. But really this level of refinement is just the cherry on top of an incredible treat.
The EXR-S (like its EXR sibling) takes off like a rocket ship. Beneath its racy hood lies—you guessed it, a Range Rover V8—which offers up 5.0-liters of supercharged fury and a very sizable 550 horsepower.
It’s all put to the ground via a 50/50 torque-split four-wheel drive system and a paddle-shift six-speed automatic gearbox. Looking to chop some supercars? The Bowler EXR-S launches to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds and will touch the 155 mph mark, if allowed.
That’s quick, especially considering the EXR-S can achieve similar figures when bombing across the desert or dashing along wooded trails. The customized Range Rover Sport chassis features a rugged double wishbone independent suspension, fitted with Eibach springs and Bilstein dampers, allowing for a big 11-inches of wheel travel. You won’t find that on a GT-R, that’s for sure.
It is worth mentioning Bowler has had quite a bit of practice in getting to this point; the off-road outfit has been building 4×4 race trucks since the mid-1980s, first with the tough Tomcat, then the Wildcat (made famous in part thanks to “driving god” Richard Hammond on Top Gear), and finally the Bowler Nemesis.
The Bowler EXR assumed the crown in 2010, and upon the first conceptual preview of the EXR-S (shown at the Goodwood Festival of Speed) the street-legal race SUV beat many a supercar as it dashed up the event’s famed hillclimb course. Not bad for a big Rover.
This however isn’t your average Bowler EXR-S. According to the UK’s Silverstone Auctions, this Bowler is 2015 EXR-S chassis no. 1, the first of three right-hand drive examples built. Since its birth last year it has covered only 480 miles and now it seeks new ownership.
The price? New, they cost about £155,000 ($223,000). The auction house estimates this barely used Bowler will gavel for between £95,000 and £115,000 (about $137,000 to $165,000).