|Manufacturer||Bowler Offroad / QT Services|
|Body and chassis|
|Layout||Front-engine, four-wheel-drive layout|
The Bowler Wildcat is an off-road vehicle originally made by Bowler Offroad, it is an evolution of the Bowler Tomcat using some components from the Land Rover Defender.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. Promotional materials show the vehicle equipped with a Kongsberg Protector Super Lite remote weapon station.
Design and construction
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.
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. 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.
The Bowler Wildcat was seen in an episode of Top Gear, which aired on May 11, 2003.
- Supacat Wildcat product page Archived August 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- "BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre RISE Program". Wildcat Testbed. BAE Systems. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- "Mobile Robotics Group - Oxford University". Mobile Robotics Group. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
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