It's axiomatic that to survive in the business of general aviation, a manufacturer has to constantly roll out new models or, at the very least, improved versions of the standing product line. Diamond has done both and at this week's AOPA Expo in Hartford, it announced two new variants of the DA40, the XLS and CS. Diamond's Heike Larson told us this week that the XLS is a bit more than a tarted up DA40 with nicer upholstery, although it does have that.
The XLS has a WAAS-capable Garmin G1000, a wider and higher canopy for better visibility and cabin comfort and improved engine monitoring. The DA40 CS might be thought of as an a la carte version of the Star. Its base price is a more affordable $259,000 and customers can then customize it with additional options including interior upgrades, a Garmin GFC 700 autopilot and an extended luggage bin.
The CS is primarily aimed at flight schools but can be an affordable option for individual owners, says Larson.