Sweet Single: Diamond Upgrades Its DiamondStars

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The Diamond DA40 has gotten some enhancements designed to give pilots more speed, more style and more utility. The new DA40 XLS is faster than its predecessor, thanks to the addition of a new three-blade MT composite Scimitar prop and Powerflow tuned exhaust system. There are also new landing gear fairings and extended range fuel to help take advantage of the extra speed-the XLS's 75 percent cruise speed is 150 knots, up 5 knots from the standard model. The XLS also boasts a redesigned canopy, a new, premium interior and upgraded avionics. The new canopy improvement increases headroom for the front-seat passengers, especially toward the door, giving front-seat occupants not only more space but a more spacious feel. The new Platinum interior features rich leather seating, leather wraparounds for the seat belts and control sticks and aluminum framed wood accents. The Garmin G1000 panel will now get WAAS capability, including vertical profile WAAS approaches-which can be coupled to the standard Garmin GFC 700 digital autopilot, along with other enhancements. The DA40 XLS goes for $334,950 and should be available by the time you read this. For those in the market for value, the new DA40 CS is a more utilitarian model with fewer amenities, a constant speed two-blade Hartzell prop and a more basic G1000 avionics package. It goes for $259,950.