Blog Entry #3 - Meet Bushpig.
You’re driving a luxury, German performance SUV through Africa? Are you mad?’ That was one of the more polite responses we had. And yes, it’s true. Both parts.
I’ve always been of the opinion that life is too short to drive a boring car. In fact, if I had a choice to drive something that looks like a remote-controlled buggy, I would opt for that every time! When it came to deciding on a vehicle, I really wanted to do something a little different. Initially, I thought about an all-wheel-drive Mini Countryman. Then, a 1965 VW Beetle. At one stage I even toyed with the idea of kitting out and old Porsche 944. You can see how my mind is geared - excuse the pun.
The Cayenne turned out to be a more “logical” choice. I use the word loosely, of course, as there really aren’t many logical arguments to use a 500 hp SUV to traverse Africa. Specifically, one that is renowned for reliability issues later on in its lifespan. Mostly, however, my decision had a great deal to do with me being a huge Porsche fan. And due to the fact that I’ve always wanted one. Selfish, I know. What is worth mentioning though, is that when the Cayenne was first conceived, Porsche completely over-engineered it. There really was no reason why this performance SUV needed a low range gearbox with multiple locking differentials and high-lift air suspension, but it got ‘em anyway.
A quick search on YouTube will also show that the Cayenne is more than capable off-road if you respect the terrain. If you take it Jeeping, you’ll end up in trouble. But it will do more than you ask of it in a typical Overlanding scenario. Yes, the arguments of taking a € 100,000 vehicle off-road are relevant. But we didn’t pay that for ours. You’d be surprised at just how affordable early model Cayennes sell for these days. I’ve seen some rough examples selling for as little as € 3,500, with really good ones fetching less than double that. While scouring the web looking for cars, we did the due diligence of exploring the typical Land Cruisers, Patrols, Land Rovers and the like. Good ones with lowish mileage ran upwards of € 10,000 - and that was before adding any Overlanding essentials.
We found ours in the UK, a little over 200,000 km on the clock, and in remarkably clean mechanical condition. It had a full-service history with Porsche, had all the known failure points like the plastic coolant lines replaced and had, according to its last owner, lived a relatively easy life. The owner was asking a little over € 7,000 and that for a 500 hp, beast of a motor. It was a no brainer. Is it necessary to have that much power for a trip like this? No. But will it be worth it? Yes! Ploughing into this, I knew it was never going to be an easy build. Most outfitters don’t make any bolt-on off-road-focussed accessories for the Cayenne. But that was part of the challenge. We’d be creating a really unique, and truly capable overlander. For that reason, I approached the guys at Delta4x4 in Germany. They’ve got a long history of transforming everyday SUVs and pick-up trucks into epic off-road monsters. They didn't hesitate to come on-board and the rest is, as they say, history. SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT!!
Delta4x4 develop and engineer their own brand of off-road wheels and beadlocks, as well as lift kits and bodykits for a large swathe of vehicles. If you’re looking to take your wagon from a pavement princess to a true offroad warrior - give these guys a call!
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