2nd Gen Porsche Cayenne 958 Off-road Build on 30″ A/T Tires

  • Model: Porsche Cayenne 958
  • Wheels: 30"
  • Category: Overland Build
  • Capability Score: 45/70
  • Build Level: Advanced
  • Mods Budget: $$$$
  • Last Updated: February 10, 2024
2nd Gen Porsche Cayenne 958 Off-road Build
2nd Gen Porsche Cayenne 958 Off-road Build
Porsche Cayenne 958 overland roof rack
Lifted Porsche cayenne 958 on Nitto Ridge Grappler 265/50/20 all terrain tires
Wheeling in a Porsche Cayenne 958 black +2
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The Porsche Cayenne has long been viewed more as an upscale performance crossover rather than a serious off-roader. However, this lifted 2013 Porsche Cayenne 958 (2nd gen) build aims to challenge those assumptions. Owned by off-road enthusiast James Wilson from Colorado, this Cayenne overland build features a 2″ air suspension lift kit, hardcore armor, 30″ Nitto Ridge Grappler all-terrain tires, and a host of custom upgrades tailored for backcountry travel.

With its newfound ground clearance and aggressive tread, James has transformed his Cayenne into a highly capable overland rig ready to tackle Moab paths or traverse the remote mountain trails near his hometown. Its preserved on-road comfort coupled with enhanced off-road capabilities creates an ideal dual-purpose SUV perfect for those seeking both luxury and adventure. This unique Cayenne 958 build blurs the line between refined and rugged. Read on to find out more!

New Porsche Cayenne 958 second generation off-road build
This 958 stands tall on a set of Black Rhino Trabuco 20-inch wheels, wrapped with Nitto Ridge Grappler 265/50/20 tires. The air suspension has been modified with a 2-inch lift from Eurowise, providing the SUV with the necessary clearance to navigate rocky paths without worrying about scraping its belly.

2013 Porsche Cayenne Turbo 958 Off Road Build

Drivetrain

  • 4×4 / 4WD / AWD

Engine specs

  • 4.8L V8 twin turbo
  • VR Tune (Tuned Power 575HP | 605ft/lbs)

Lift height and suspension modifications

  • Eurowise 2” air suspension lift – all modes work

Wheels

  • Black Rhino Trabuco 20” 5×130
  • Nitto Ridge Grappler 265/50/20

Exterior mods

  • Eurowise full steel underbody protection kit
  • Eurowise rock sliders
  • Eurowise intercooler relocation brackets
  • Eurowise roof rack
  • LED front bar with DRL, side, rear, whip, and rock lights with central controller and switch panel

Interior mods

  • Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android
  • Front and rear camera through CarPlay
  • Integrated radar detector
  • Custom rear cargo spare tire and accessory setup with pull-out table
Porsche Cayenne 958 offroad build with set of Black Rhino Trabuco 20-inch wheels, wrapped with Nitto Ridge Grappler 265/50/20 tires
This 958 overland build stands tall on a set of Black Rhino Trabuco 20-inch wheels, wrapped with Nitto Ridge Grappler 265/50/20 tires.

⚙️ Technical Details

Model: Porsche Cayenne Turbo (958 2nd gen)


Production years: 2011-2018 


Approximate prices on the market (Used): $16,000-$35,000


Engine: 4.8L V8 twin turbo with VR Tune (Tuned Power 575HP | 605ft/lbs)


Drivetrain: AWD


Construction: Unibody


Traction Enhancement Devices: Porsche Traction Management (PTM), Locking Rear Differential (on PTVPlus options)


Low Range: No


Stock wheel size: 305/30R22 – 29″


Offroad Wheel Size: 30″


Build Level: Advanced


Budget: $$$$


Off-road Capability Score: 45/70

How did we get this score?

Cayenne 958 Eurowise overland style roof rack with a built-in LED light bar.
Eurowise roof rack with a built-in LED light bar.

Affiliate disclosure: we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you buy through some of the product links in this post.

Cayenne Model Heritage

When the Porsche Cayenne was first unleashed in 2003, it kicked up more than just a cloud of dust in the automotive landscape. As the Stuttgart marque’s first foray into the SUV territory, it raised quite a few eyebrows in the purist echelons. A Porsche that could handle the rocky terrain just as proficiently as the race track?

It was inconceivable. And yet, as the dust settled, the reality became clear: The Porsche Cayenne was no mere pretender. The 1st generation model (955) and the subsequent 957 generation revealed themselves to be incredibly competent off the paved roads, a characteristic amplified by the availability of advanced AWD systems and the rear lockers on certain models.

Fast forward to 2010, and we were introduced to the 2nd gen Cayenne, or as the connoisseurs refer to it, the 958 body style. It brought a more streamlined look, better fuel economy, and a more refined driving experience. But for off-roading aficionados, one question loomed large: Did it retain its elder siblings’ off-road prowess?

To the delight of many, the answer was a resounding yes. Yet, despite the potential, the sight of a lifted 2nd gen Cayenne ready to tackle the wilderness is still quite a rarity. That’s precisely why the rig we’re about to dive into – a lifted 2013 Porsche Cayenne Turbo, owned by Kevin Okragly, is such a novel sight on our off-road trails.

Porsche Cayenne 958 with 2" air suspension lift by Eurowise
The air suspension has been modified with a 2-inch lift from Eurowise, providing the SUV with the necessary clearance to navigate rocky paths without worrying about scraping its belly.

It’s worth remembering that Motor Trend once praised the 2nd gen Cayenne Turbo as a “rare breed, a luxury SUV with the heart of a sports car.” Indeed, under the hood, it sports a burly 4.8L V8 twin-turbo engine, delivering an already exhilarating 500 horsepower in its stock configuration. But in Kevin’s setup, it’s further enhanced by a VR Tune, which gives it a little bit more in terms of performance.

Cayenne 958 Off-Road Capabilities

The Cayenne’s all-wheel-drive system utilizes an electronically-controlled multi-plate clutch central differential that enables a rear-biased 40:60 torque split. Models equipped with Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV+) feature an electronically-locking rear differential to actively distribute drive across the rear axle.

The SUV leverages advanced traction management technologies including Porsche Traction Management (PTM), Porsche Hill Control (PHC), Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), and Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) settings tailored to loose surface traction.

In the dedicated off-road modes, systems optimization unlocks the full articulation and ride height range of the available air suspension. With 3 height presets up to a maximum of 240mm (Special Off-Road mode), the Cayenne extends ground clearance and approach/departure angles.

Integrating multi-mode differentials with software-enhanced aides like PTM and ABS that can simulate locking effects via precise brake interventions, the advanced all-wheel drive enables composed travel on mud, dirt, gravel and uneven terrain.

Per the original brochure it has a 54° approach angle, 25° departure angle, 20″ minimum ground clearance in off-road mode, and 500mm wading depth from the factory, the Cayenne has baseline metrics rivaling established 4×4 platforms. Refined manners, luxury appointments and performance potential cement its well-rounded capability.

Porsche Cayenne 958 driving on rocks and offroad

Interview with the Owner

How did you become interested in off-roading?

– When I was a kid I lived on a ranch here in Montana and had a 4-wheeler, I was on it constantly. In high school I graduated to various trucks and SUVs, we did a lot of back-roads exploring and camping out of our rigs. I also went through a few Jeeps in my early 20s.

Why did you choose a 958 Cayenne for your project?

– I actually started with a 2015 Cayenne S before I landed on the 2013 Turbo. I liked the 958.2 updates introduced in 2015. Problem was in Montana there isn’t a Porsche dealership within a 10 hour drive, or even used ones to go test drive. I had to do the research on the model differences (engine, suspension, interior, etc…) all without being able to see or drive one.

So I found a 2015 S in Detroit, I flew out to go get it and drive it home, and I hated it before I even got out of Michigan. The twin Turbo V6 wasn’t what I expected (in 2015 Porsche changed the S from a V8 to twin turbo V6). I had it for about a month, then traded it for a Turbo I found in Washington. Driving the Turbo home I immediately knew I made the right decision, completely different car.

Porsche Cayenne 958 with Eurowise steel rock sliders / side steps
Eurowise steel rock sliders will protect the rocker panels and help to avoid damage.

What inspired you to choose this modification style?

– My goal was to create a highly capable off-road rig that I could take into the mountains, that was still a (reasonably) high performance car that was fun to drive. I also wanted all the creature comforts since it would be my daily. The very first Cayenne I saw for inspiration was here on Offroadium (@ourthrillogy). I had been considering building a Trailhawk or Wrangler, but I wanted something different than anything I had before. And besides, nothing says you’re a serious off-roader more than pulling up to the trail in a lifted Porsche with your Goldendoodle.

2nd Gen Porsche Cayenne offroading on a forest trail

What challenges did you face while putting it together?

– The biggest challenge I had was being in Montana where I didn’t have access to a dealership, other people doing similar builds on the platform, or shops that would take the project seriously (since I wasn’t building a Jeep or Toyota I was out of luck I guess). That changed when I found European Performance here in Billings, they dove into the project and absolutely crushed it.

The other challenge was at the time there weren’t a lot of builds happening on the 958 generation Cayennes (955 and 957 builds are more common). I had to do a fair amount of trial-and-error as I went because there wasn’t a lot of information out there yet. That combined with not having quick access to parts/mods in Montana made it a bit tedious when things didn’t fit or had to be exchanged, and everything had to be shipped each way.

Lifted 2nd Gen Porsche Cayenne on 33" All terrain tires

What do you love about your Cayenne?

– This is the most fun rig I’ve ever owned. Since I had to take such a leap of faith when getting into the Cayenne platform for a build (since in Montana I didn’t have access to even drive one), I didn’t fully know what to expect. It exceeded my expectations, it’s way more capable off-road than I ever thought it would be, and it feels like a sports car on-road. You of course lose some on-road performance with all the mods, but it’s crazy fast, handles really well, and still smooth and stable at very high speeds.

Have to admit, I also love to see the looks I get from side-by-sides and ATVs when I’m way back on a trail in a Porsche sitting on cooled seats.

“This is the most fun rig I’ve ever owned”.

Is it your daily or a weekend ride?

– It’s my daily, and I usually insist we take it when the fam goes anywhere.

Do you take it off road? If so, where and how often?

– I try to get into the mountains every chance I get. I’m usually doing trails in Southern Montana and Northern Wyoming. I did an amazing trip to Moab with a group of Porsche/Touareg people and looking forward to doing that again (thanks Forge Motorsport Overland!)

See Also
Lifted Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk on 33s Modified for Overland Expeditions

Bestoverland style roof rack for a Porsche Cayenne 958 - 2nd gen

Anything else you would like to share about your vehicle or about off-roading in general?

– I’m sure that all off-road enthusiast communities are great, but I can say the Cayenne/Toureg off-road people are some of the best. I’ve met a lot of great people, some in person, that are willing to help with info/experience/laughs/drinks or whatever is needed. Maybe it’s because it’s a relatively small community, and we probably all need to have our collective heads examined.

Watch the progress and find out more about this Porsche Cayenne 958 project by visiting the Instagram profile of the owner: @yippiecayennemthrfkr!

Off-roading in a black lifted Porsche Cayenne 958 turbo

How we test?

Offroadium Verdict & Score Explained

We have created our own rating and classification system to differentiate and evaluate the off-road capabilities of vehicles showcased on Offroadium. Based on it, we can conclude the following:

Off-road Capability Score: 45/70

As an AWD vehicle with a 2″ lift kit and 30″ all-terrain tires (25 points), rear locking differential (10 points), advanced traction modes (5 points), and steel underbody protection (5 points), this Porsche Cayenne 958 off-road build earns a capability score of 45 out of 70.

While not a hardcore rock crawler, the enhanced ground clearance, traction, armor, and power provide respectable competence for exploring remote trails. It retains refined road manners thanks to the preserved on-road suspension geometry. Overall an intelligently executed fusion of luxury and ruggedness.

Complexity Level: Advanced

Significant investments into suspension, drivetrain, and protection upgrades clearly position this as an Advanced level build. Custom tuning to unlock more power demonstrates that no expense has been spared extracting maximum capability from the Cayenne platform while retaining creature comforts.

Budget: $$$$

With premium parts like a VR performance tune, air suspension lift kit, steel armor, and niche wheels/tires, this Cayenne likely represents a $$$$ level investment. But built to adeptly balance daily driving and off-road use, it delivers an immense return through go-anywhere enjoyment.

Author’s Opinion

Having worked on Porsche Cayennes for over a decade in my shop, I believe the second generation 958 models have credible off-road hardware once a few weaknesses are addressed.

Throughout the years servicing client vehicles, I’ve noted common Cayenne 958 trouble areas including:

  • High Pressure Fuel Pump failures
  • 2011 V8 Variocam Bolt issues
  • 2011+ Transfer Case problems
  • Clogged transfer case and differential fluids

Unlike early maintenance-intensive Cayenne models, the 958’s electronics prove to be problem-free.

Overall, a properly maintained Cayenne 958 makes a great overland platform. Before adding off-road mods, I advise owners first fix any outstanding issues to ensure reliable operation in remote areas. And as always, follow the factory service manual closely when carrying out your own repairs. Once any problem points are resolved, the advanced AWD system, height-adjustable air suspension, and availabe locking differentials make these vehicles primed for on and off-road enjoyment.

Pros

  • Advanced AWD with a locking rear differential
  • Growing aftermarket support that offers lifts, body armor, and other off-road accessories

Cons

  • Expensive to purchase and maintain
  • Less prone to damage compared to Body On Frame 4x4s

Related Parts & Mods

– Inspired by this Porsche Cayenne build and looking to prepare your own crossover for off-road adventures? Some parts used on this vehicle were sourced from custom shops or custom made, but our team has put together a list of products and accessories available online that may help you to achieve similar results:

Lift Kit

Wheels

Roof Rack

Roof Top Tent

Awning

Lights

*Before ordering any part or accessory, it is recommended that you verify its fitment with a qualified professional and/or seller. We are not responsible for fitment or other issues that may arise from using the products featured on our website.

Stay tuned for more project reviews on Offroadium.com – Follow us on social media, and share this write-up if you enjoyed reading it!

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