Good choice! For Nav we’re currently evaluating a hybrid of E32 maps and the LeadNav app loaded onto an iPad mini permanently mounted in the vehicle. Gaia GPS is pretty good too but LeadNav is basically designed for this type of rally. A Garmin will be backup.Post 1.. we are prepping a 2006 Cayenne S. We have lots of stuff to still decide on, but the car seems pretty solid. In a week or two we will get the race tires and roof basket mounted. Haven't finalized nav stuff yet.
It’s interesting you bring up air suspension. Our support vehicle is a 2005 LR3 HD and the air suspension on it makes off-roading at speed (especially on washboard) acceptable. I considered swapping them out for coil overs for this event but the air suspension is just too nice for extremely long off-roading days. So instead I’ll be rebuilding the air valve blocks and having the air suspension inspected and possibly rebuilt. I get comments from friends when riding in our rig, just how comfortable it is off-road. Add to that the full lockers in the HD version and the off-road endurance capability is there. (Will need to armor up underneath though, especially around the air compressor and fuel tank.)The Cayenne's strong points are the air suspension, competent AWD/4WD, fuel capacity and and overall strength. And POWER! Weaknesses are the air suspension (this depends who you believe), complexity, and sparsity of aftermarket upgrades. Fuel economy isn't fantastic but compared to other overlanding vehicles I think it's probably pretty good.
Gas mileage, however. Ooooof. It sucks. Bad. Will be carrying several jerry cans as supplement.
There’s something about the emotional tug of particular rigs, isn’t there? This distance of competition really requires you to feel a connection and trust with your vehicle, so I totally get that. It’ll be cool to see your Cayenne out there deep in the Baja!We has also seriously considered two larger (3-row, 7-seat) vehicles:
- Jeep Commander, for the fantastic 4WD. Not great on fuel, and the second row was pretty cramped to make room for the 3rd row. The windshield is very vertical and far away, which is good for keeping the sun out of your eyes but probably not so good for outward visibility. Reliable as far as we could tell. Small gas tank.
- Toyota Sequoia, for the legendary Toyota reliability. Better 2nd row seats (captain's chairs on some) and of course lots of space. Decent AWD but I think not as serious as the others. Fuel economy no better than the others.
All were 200x models for a blend of newness and affordability. The Cayenne won due to our experience with Touaregs and also on an emotional level. It has so far impressed us (although I'm on the east coast and the car is in CA).