When the Cirrus rep handed me the keys to a brand new 2016 SR22T for an evaluation flight, I could only nod my head and smile at one of the new features in the latest iteration of this sports car with wings: a key fob with remote keyless entry. Press the button just like you would standing outside your Mercedes or Porsche and the doors to the plane automatically unlock. Shouldn’t all new planes have this feature, I thought?
That’s not all. The latest SR series models come with a full complement of luxury features, including Bluetooth calling and music connectivity, wireless flight plan transfer from an iPad to the Garmin Perspective avionics, and control of the XM radio from your smartphone.
New 2016 exteriors incorporate exclusive Sherwin-Williams colors in three premium design “collections:” Carbon, Platinum and Rhodium. Cirrus also offers an Xi personalization package with an endless array of exterior and interior color choices. The five-passenger interior, meanwhile, is on par with any luxury automobile sold today.
And well it should be. A fully loaded 2016 SR22T has crossed over the $900,000 price threshold for the first time. That will make some readers gasp, I’m sure, but let’s face it: If you’re in the market for one, money isn’t your major concern. In fact, the day of my evaluation flight a new owner was scheduled to arrive on his Gulfstream private jet to take delivery of his SR22 and fly it home.
If you think the price tag is simply too steep for a light piston single, we have news for you: Cirrus produces the best selling piston airplane in the world. The company could actually sell more but they’ve capped production of piston models at around 300 a year as preparations are made at the factory in Duluth, Minnesota, to start building the Cirrus Jet. Pre-orders of that airplane have been brisk, to say the least, as SR22 owners dream of moving up to a Mach readout.
As for my flight in the 2016 SR22, it was quite simply unlike any other GA airplane I’ve flown. And I’ve flown some nice airplanes. This new SR22 is the best yet. If you can afford one, and you can get your order in before they’re sold out, you owe it to yourself to schedule a test flight. Look for more details in an upcoming issue of Flying.