Bowler Wildcat

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Wildcat
Bowler Rally.JPG
Overview
Manufacturer Bowler Offroad / QT Services
Body and chassis
Class Rally Vehicle
Layout All Wheel Drive
Chronology
Predecessor Bowler Tomcat
Successor Bowler Nemesis

The Bowler Wildcat is an off-road vehicle originally made by Bowler Offroad, it is an evolution of the Bowler Tomcat using some components from the Land Rover Defender. The Wildcat has been entered in various off-road rally raids, most notably the Dakar Rally and Rallye des Pharaons.

The manufacturing rights to the Wildcat were sold by Bowler to Qt Services in December 2007, to provide support to existing Wildcat owners while Bowler concentrated on production of their newer vehicle, the Bowler Nemesis. Since then, Qt Services have continued to support owners in competitive events and have made further developments to the vehicle.

In 2011 Supacat started marketing a militarized Wildcat in collaboration with QT Services.[1] Promotional materials shows the vehicle quipped with a Kongsberg Protector Super Lite remote weapon station.

A Wildcat in the 2007 Dakar
A Wildcat at speed during the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2005

Design and Construction[edit]

The Wildcat has a tubular space frame construction that incorporates a roll cage as an integral part of the frame structure. The body panels are made of fiberglass.

The suspension system uses Land Rover Discovery beam axles front and rear. The front axles are located by radius rods and a Panhard rod. The rear axle is located by trailing arms and Watt's linkage.

Bowler originally offered the Wildcat with a choice of 4, 4.6 or 5 litre displacement V8 engines in several levels of engine tuning, or a 2.5 litre turbo diesel.

An optional feature offered by Bowler was a lift device that could lift the vehicle past the lowest travel of the front and rear suspension. The lift was intended to be used to assist in digging the vehicle out of soft ground or to facilitate changing a wheel. The lift device consisted of a large steel plate on a hinged sub-frame attached to the underside of the vehicle frame between the front and rear axles. The lift was lowered by a hydraulic ram that was controlled from inside the vehicle. The lift plate also served to protect the underside of vehicle when raised.

Research platform[edit]

Two Wildcats have been retrofitted by BAE Systems with fly-by-wire control systems, high-performance computing payloads and sensors for estimating the local terrain, including lidars and cameras. The first of which is used by the BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre as part of their autonomous systems research.[2] The second is used by the Mobile Robotics Group at Oxford University as part of their ongoing research into lifelong infrastructure-free navigation for autonomous vehicles.[3]

Top Gear[edit]

This car was used as part in Season 2, episode 1 of the British motoring programme, Top Gear which aired in May 11, 2003. While reviewing it, Richard Hammond, overwhelmed with emotion declared himself to be "a Driving God" much to the amusement of the studio audience and his co-presenters, Jeremy Clarkson and James May.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Supacat Wildcat product page
  2. ^ "BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre RISE Program". Wildcat Testbed. BAE Systems. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "Mobile Robotics Group - Oxford University". Mobile Robotics Group. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 

"Qt Acquires Wildcat Manufacturing Rights". 2007-12-05. Archived from the original on 2007-12-19. Retrieved 2007-12-31. 

"Bowler Wildcat Vehicle Overview". Retrieved 2007-12-31. 

External links[edit]