We ride with ferocious Bowler EXR-S up Goodwood's Hill Climb
One car stood out at the Festival of Speed press day, and that was the Bowler EXR-S.
Looking like it had escaped from the stages of the Paris-Dakar, but sat amongst the road legal supercars, it was a curiosity even alongside the Ferraris and Porsches it was next too.Then I found out the makers charge a whopping £180,000 for this machine. A passenger ride up the Goodwood hill beckoned.
Behind the wheel was Bowler test driver Jim Wheeler, who used to race in Touring cars but loves rallying, and he explained to me more about the Bowler EXR-S.
"Really this is a toy for those who have everything – we aim to sell about 25 a year." And with that, he gunned the engine and the car accelerated with a ferocity you wouldn't have thought possible from a 2-tonne machine.
It feels every bit the monster it looks like and could humble even high-end sports cars such as the BMW M3.
"Although it's based on the Rally Raid version, this road-going version actually has more power because it's not shackled by the regulations." It's certainly not tamed by having a tax disc either.
That power figure is 550bhp – more than a V10 Audi R8 – and comes from a tuned version of the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 from Land Rover.
Thanks to the rally-bred four-wheel drive system the EXR-S can muster astonishing grip – as well as the ability to cross any terrain at speed thanks to the high ride height and heavy-duty suspension. Our gallery features pictures of the EXR-S being given the sort of abuse it loves.
It can complete 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds and has a limited top speed of 155mph.
And amazingly, it even comes with a stereo. Utterly bonkers.