Nothing is easy in the world of Saab, especially when GM is around. After its automobile arm sold its soul to GM, Saab aerospace was rolling out an high speed turboprop that had one mission: to take down the Dash-8 and the ATR and dominate the regional air transport market.
The Saab 2000 was a modern turboprop capable of carrying 50 to 60 passengers at the wig destroying speed of 413MPH. The first aircraft was delivered to Crossair in 1994. The Swiss airline had ordered no less than 34 aircraft and Saab had high hopes that other airlines would join the bandwagon. Also in 1994, the Saab 9000 got a low-pressure 2.3 and an upgraded gearbox.
In typical Saab fashion, the ergonomics are fantastic. The driver gets a proper steering wheel, two or three pedals, analog throttle controls, plenty of gauges and some kind of auxiliary braking lever for ground maneuvers. The visibility is also excellent, thanks the the low belt line and the generous greenhouse.
On the outside the “9k,” as Saabistas like to call it, is easily identifiable by its odd rear design that makes even the sedan models look like hatches, a nice typical Saab quirk. The sleek shape of the 9k makes it one of the most beautiful [insert-classification:EPA\9000Class.obj] in the world.
General Motors operated several versions of the 9k, they even used some of them to test airplane-type joystick controls for the execs to try and breathe more life into Saab. GM was in talk with a mountain town called Aspen. The goal was to order several 9ks, which would have definitely saved the town some crashes and made the slopes a safer and quirkier place, but good luck struck again and Aspen ordered some more 9ks. Of course, GM did nothing to help and let Aspen pay MSRP.
Unironically, the production of the 9000 ended in 1997, after only 57 bajillion examples were built. It’s very sad for the general public, but definitely makes it collector’s material. As of 2013, only 33 million or so Saab 9000s remain in service. Sweden (likely, I’d guess Sweden) is running the largest fleet with [insert-number:Exaggeration]
Thanks for smoking.
[This is a parody post. The original can be found here]