The sky is cloudy over the Rhine-Main area. No ray of sun breaks through the clouds when Max and I set off for a 9000 test drive. Shortly before Christmas I got the unexpected offer to replace Max's stolen Anniversary with an interesting 9k. The key data alone are tough ...
Year 97, firsthand, and only 77.000 kilometers on the clock. Before now all Mindkilometer skeptics start their free dance: with this Saab everything is fine. For 21 years, he was regularly moved and otherwise always parked in a garage. Two decades without intense UV exposure and extreme heat fluctuations, this affects the state.
Not at first glance, because the 9000 is a typical retired car. Smaller traces of enemy contact adorn the body. Nothing dramatic, the Saab wears a friendly uni paint that would keep the costs of future repairs within limits. The aha experience begins when you get started. The heavy, black leather of the seating is as supple as on the first day. There are no signs of use. You sink into the Saab armchair and never want to leave it. New car feelings? For sure! The view wanders through the interior, it remains on the dashboard.
20 years with low UV exposure, a true garage car. The structure of the dashboard is like new, has delivery quality. Finely structured, noble, high quality. I have not seen anything in this direction for ages. Max and I can hardly believe it and are curious to see how the Saab drives. 200 PS, Turbo, 4 gear automatic. That sounds good, but it works better. Displacement is displacement, and can not replace anything. The 9000 sets off, full, confident, the ZF machine cuddles with the gears. A dream!
Saab 9000 CSE 2.3 Turbo - A dream
Long forgotten things come back to mind. Our Saab is a normal CSE. No aero, and unfortunately no anniversary - so optically not so attractive. But he drives better than any Aero or Anni with the hard, sporty chassis. The 9000 flies its way gently on pothole slopes, almost like a classic, large Citroen with the legendary hydropneumatics. My Anni would shake, rattle and become uncomfortable on the same route.
The body does not rattle, the load drives very easily and confidently. It is this feeling that characterizes well-motorized vehicles. You relax, loosen up, because you can demand sufficient strength almost at any time. Not that this is our concern, but it's really fun to just let the excited armada of new cars with their inflated small engines stand.
In the past, some things were better. The 9000 qualities are well known. Lots of space, lots of light, a relatively clear body. Little weight, powerful engines, the package is right. There is nothing to complain about with this 9000. He lies confidently on the street. The steering is, if you can speak of it with a 9k, very precise. Almost as delivered, and for me a lesson on what can become brittle in 20 years from sunlight, heat and cold on the car, despite the best care.
It becomes really clear when you drive faster than the recommended motorway speed. Every 9000 I know gets loud then. More or less, depending on the state of care. Wind noise dominates, and it gets really intense in vehicles with a sunroof. Not with this copy. Despite the sunroof, the interior remains pleasantly quiet, no hurricane raging, true upper class level. Logical, because the seals on doors and windows are velvety soft. They nestle against the body, as was once thought in Trollhättan. Why the 9000 was almost certified as Mercedes quality back then, at a time when this was still being delivered in Stuttgart, becomes clear again.
Stories sometimes come to an unexpected end
The list of shortcomings, it is short. When parking a metallic noise sounds from the area of the steering, you would have to pursue. And the tires are behind them, they are out of round.
What do you do with such a car? No rust, the underbody is as ex-works, and apart from the paint, no signs of wear. A museum condition, also externally, if you prepare the Saab nicely. Max has a problem with that. Can you, should you drive the Saab in everyday life? Or do you have to preserve the unique condition? A certain luxury problem - from a fan's point of view.
The question remains open. Max has to think hard about it. It is the quiet time between the years, so what should happen? Meanwhile, the Saab 9000 CSE 2.3 Turbo parked safely Saab Service Frankfurt, and Max takes a few days off. Get on the plane and disappear in the digital off. No smartphone, no internet, just relax. On the return flight, he knows that he wants the Saab. Only, there is the 9k already sold.
In Frankfurt they tried in vain to reach Max. And so the test drive history comes to an unexpected end. A great car, a rare opportunity. Lost.