I finally spoke with CD about the subject at hand. Let me start by saying that as always, they were very open and forthcoming. I will try to repeat their thoughts as accurately as possible.
CD clearly has a philosophy or vision about the avionics and MFD’s in particular. It seems as though they seem very committed to a display of at least 10 inches. Their secondary concerns seam to be the adaptability of the unit and the ability for future upgrades and integrations.
At this time they just feel ARNAV fits the bill better than any other MFD’s including the MX20 (too small), the Garmin 530 (too small & won’t do all that they want, ever) Avro Tec (too small a company & concerned about their ability to produce for 300 units a year - also it only interphases with older versions of other avionics).
They also seem very committed to keeping the engine monitoring on the MFD, but not necessarily as ARNAV envisions it in their adds. CD would have the moving map as the primary display and the engine monitoring and WX uplink, etc., as secondary screens - not sharing the real estate. I don’t think I agree here, but I’ve only seen print and Web adds as well as mock up displays at shows.
They either have no real idea of when ARNAV will deliver the software (& hardware?) for the engine monitoring upgrade, or are not telling. After the conversation, I would be surprised if it appears on an factory bird or as an aftermarket kit anytime before the third quarter. (Can someone tell me why this is such a tough item for CD and ARNAV?)
If you’re interested in the JPI or EI engine analysers they thought that you may be able to swap it for some of the current engine gauges with some creativity.
For now, I am waiting to hear back from UIPSAT, and Garmin. Unless I find either a factory willing to work with me or a great avionics shop, I will probably wait to get my SR22, go through the training and then see about the engine analyzer and MFD. I am not thrilled about litteraly throwing away the first display as I doubt there is much of an aftermarket at this time or spending upwards of $15K - $20K extra.
For now I am still looking & waiting.
As for the SR22 speed, they have strong evidence that the SR22 actually outperforms the prototype (& POH) by up to 5 knots.