A Land Rover discovery: The best defense is a $250K, Bowler-built offense
After losing a hotly contested legal battle with billionaire Jim Ratcliffe over the Defender design, Land Rover fired back with something special: a factory-authorized reproduction of its iconic off-roader. Code-named the CSP 575, Land Rover’s stalwart wears what Ratcliffe’s creation, the Ineos Grenadier, can never truly duplicate: a pure Defender body, right down to the correct front and rear fascias.
While the CSP 575 currently exists only as a digital rendering, racing truck builder Bowler Motors is tasked with prepping the CSP 575 for well-heeled clients looking to supplant the new, softer Defender with something more traditional. Bowler got the nod because it was purchased by Land Rover last year and subsequently integrated into LR’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) department. Sounds like a marriage made in heaven.
Even better, Bowler will likely rob Land Rover’s parts bin for its aggressive, supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 with 560+ horsepower. That macho V-8 would certainly give the CSP 575 an edge over the Ineos Grenadier’s BMW-sourced six-cylinder.
The CSP 575 is slated to use the Defender’s aluminum body (in station-wagon form only) on a bespoke steel chassis. Land Rover suggests some comfort features are included, but don’t expect much more than air conditioning and perhaps minimalist in-car audio for four passengers.
The only downsides? As of this writing, there’s no plan to sell the CSP 575 in the U.S.—and if the truck did come stateside, we’d be looking at a price north of $250,000. That’s likely a huge premium over the Ineos Grenadier, which is rumored to go for Jeep Wrangler four-door money.
(Ineos hasn’t released official numbers, but we previously estimated between $37,000–$55,500. I have my doubts about that price range, since the expensive BMW-sourced bits put Grenadier on par with Local Motors’ Rally Fighter, which cost roughly $100K.)
There’s plenty of competition if your bespoke off-roader don’t have to look like a Defender: Consider GM’s new Hummer EV, or Bollinger Motors’ offerings. The latter is a Michigan startup promising edgy electric propulsion with cool tricks like a bumper-to-bumper cargo passthrough. Both hover around $100,000, or half the price of the CSP 575, which makes the Land Rover appear more of a commissioned work of art. Well, art that can go just about anywhere.
Go ahead and enjoy the many options if you want to crawl malls venture off-road with precision and possess a desperate need to finance a six-figure note. Given Bowler’s previous work and the off-chance that the CSP 575 could be serviced (and sold?) in Land Rover dealerships around the globe, the CSP 575 might just be worth the hefty price tag.