I'm always looking for new and interesting ways to do things. I've been mulling around the idea of using portal hubs to both lift and re-gear the WK2. standard lifts are capped at 2.5" inches. The exhaust routing and other issues make drop down lifts unlikely. You also can not regear since the ring gear is welded to the carrier.
Using portal hubs would give approximately 4" to 5" of lift. This could be combined with the existing lifts. The gearing on a 4" portal (1.16:1) would allow for 35" tires to maintain the existing gear ratio. The 5" portal would not allow for larger than 35" tires and would reduce the gear ratio fairly substantially (1.6:1). This would add unsprung weight so using firmer springs and shocks would likely be required. Street performance will suffer and you will still be stuck with the dismal axle articulation of a full independent suspension. However, you would gain a lot of undercarriage clearance that even solid axle vehicles don't have.
Tibus TIBUS Offroad Engineering
which is located in Germany has made portal hubs for various platforms including some independent suspensions. They don't make a setup for the WK2 because of current lack of demand. I'm curious if anyone else would consider this?
Note: I don't want to hear that all WK2's should only be lowered or how a Rubicon is a superior off road platform. This is about enhancing the WK2 for people that love the vehicle. If it was all about on road performance we would have purchased a car. And if it was all about off road performance then we'd trailer in a non-street legal vehicle.