Yes, I remember those discussions, too, but didn’t pay a lot of attention to them at the time.
When it came to buy #373, however, and vaguely remembering the discussions on the forum, I called Cirrus and asked specifically if there was an avionics upgrade cost to get the new transponder and autopilot (which I assumed all new aircraft would get). The person I spoke to wasn’t quite sure and said she’d check. She did, and told me that the only people who had to pay an avionics upgrade charge were the $144K contract holders. Since she had seemed a bit confused by my initial question, I then asked specifically, in about these very words: “Let me get this straight: The $171K contract gets me the exact same aircraft that the $188K contract would?” Answer: “Yes.”
As it turns out, she was confusing the Trimble-to-Garmin upgrade charge (which I don’t have to pay) with the 20-to-40X & 320-to-327 upgrade that I was actually asking about. (Despite me being absolutely clear about it, I thought.)
I figured that the forum discussion must have had to do with some other contracts (like the $144K ones), so I relied instead on info “straight from the horse’s mouth.”
I don’t think unauthenticated forum speculation should be given more weight than Cirrus’ word, but I suppose if I’d been smarter I would have checked the forum again and see if the two synced up.
Despite the specific assurances of a member of the Cirrus contracts department (who shall remain nameless for now) that a $171K contract is equivalent to a $188K contract, this contract includes the STec-20 autopilot and the GTX 320 transponder as base equipment instead of the Stec-40X and the GTX 327.<
Not doubting that someone told you this, but what the company consistently said in public was that the “old” and “new” contracts were not the same. In announcing the $17k increase in price, they also announced an upgrade in standard equipment, mainly avionics. The issue then discussed at some length on this forum was how great a share of the increase was accounted for by the transponder and autopilot – and whether, for some upgrade cost, holders of “old,” 320-equipped contracts could receive their planes with a 327 instead. I don’t recall anyone asserting that with an old contract you’d automatically get the new equipment. Again, not doubting that someone told you this, but they gave me at least clearly the opposite impression.