but does anyone (Clyde? Marty?) know whether it will be Continental’s “Special Edition” IO-550.
I don’t, and more than likely Cirrus don’t know yet either. That’s probably not a decision they have to make yet, since for certification purposes they are the same engine.
But it’s unclear to me whether the Special Edition is a Raytheon/Bonanza-spec or is an improvement Continental made on its own.
There was an article in one the aviation print magazines a few months ago on these engines. What happened, IIRC, is that Contintental saw people buying new engines, then sending to them to places like Victor to have them balanced and generally cleaned up. In the motor racing world, the process is referred to as “blueprinting”. Individual parts are closely matched, e.g. pistons and conrods are weight-matched to within much tighter tolerances than factory specs.
Anyway, Continental decided to get in on this market, and now offer the special-edition engines, which are essentially factory-blueprinted engines, at a premium price. They will run more smoothly, and may develop more power due to better breathing, though a 5 knot increase in cruise is probably wishful thinking.