Remember the Bowler Wildcat? Wait, don't answer that, of course you remember the Bowler Wildcat – the tube-framed off-road racer with a V8 heart and a five-year-old's insatiable appetite for dirt. It is no longer made by Bowler, however; Wildcat Automotive has taken over its production – the company has no relation to Bowler Motorsport – and what's more, they've expanded the Wildcat line and begun fettling the Land Rover Defender.

One such example is the Wildcat Defender LS3 V8 110 XS SW, the extent of its name only outdone by the extent of its performance. That General Motors, 6.2-liter LS3 is good for 430 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque here, mated to a GM 6L80 six-speed transmission. If you want more power, Wildcat can be persuaded with pounds sterling to push the numbers past 550 hp; if you just want an automatic transmission for your diesel Defender, the company does that as well using Ford's six-speed 6R80 transmission.

The cabin won't give away the trick up front, since Wildcat reprograms the Defender's vehicle management system so its existing instruments and controls work with the new engine and gearbox. The bolt-on flares outside and four racing buckets wrapped in quilted leather and matching stitched leather cabin might raise some questions, though.

Share This Photo X