Well, sir, you have made the same assumption I did (and which I even “confirmed” with Allison at Cirrus). And you are wrong, just as I was.
The fact is, according to Cirrus, #373 WILL NOT have the new transponder or autopilot, regardless of how long it takes to build it. As I understand it, Cirrus is committed to buy a certain number of the older units. (It’s even likely they’re already in Duluth waiting to be installed!)
Like you, I assumed the new gear would be installed in all SR20’s by the time mine was built and, as a matter of fact, the question I originally asked was precisely the one you suggest: "Will there be an
upgrade charge to get the new autopilot and transponder?" This is where the misunderstanding occurred. After she checked with someone else at Cirrus, Allison said there was “No avionics upgrade charge for #373.” I asked specifically if that meant #373 and #576 would be identical, and she said “Yes.”
What neither she or I knew was that the person she had consulted about the “avionics upgrade charge” thought she was referring to the Trimble-to-Garmin
upgrade – not the new transponder and autopilot. There was indeed no charge to get the Garmin equipment for #373 (though some very early positions holders DID have to pay for the Garmin upgrade) – but the new transponder and autopilot not only weren’t included, they weren’t even AVAILABLE from Cirrus as an option – at ANY price.
See? This is isn’t as simple as it seems, is it?
Maybe its all in how you asked the question.
When I was trading up to an earlier position (from 576 to 373) I asked about the new autopilot and transponder and was assured by Cirrus that they would be inclluded in #373.
A true statement, the new autopilot and transponder will be installed in all SR20’s by the time #373 comes off the line.
That was not true, and cost me about $8000 when all was said and done. As it turns out, they had misunderstood my question (they thought I meant the Trimble-to- Garmin upgrade) even though I think I was very clear when I asked it and, since the Cirrus person I spoke with seemed a bit uncertain (she had to check with others for advice a couple of times), I simplified the question by asking: “Do I understand correctly that what you’re saying is the #373 aircraft will be identical to the #576 aircraft?” and she said “Yes.”
Again this is also a correct statement. Perhaps you should have asked whether the new autopilot and transponder would be included with no additional cost.