f you haven’t looked at the Diamond DA40 lately, you’re in for some surprises. For starters, the gasoline version isn’t even in production. That’s right, if you want to buy a new DA40 today, it’s diesel or nothing — at least until next year, when the Lycoming IO-360-powered DA40 XLT returns. And although the diesel version, known as the DA40 NG, for “next generation,” first appeared way back in 2002, the current iteration has undergone so many design enhancements and improvements that it doesn’t seem fair to call it the same airplane. Diamond DA40 NG 2.0 seems like a more apt name for this economical four-seater that finally appears ready to be taken seriously in the U.S. market — and might even help resurrect it. Powered by a water-cooled 168 hp Austro four-cylinder turbodiesel, the DA40 NG is a sister product of the gasoline-powered DA40 XLT that has been popular with new airplane buyers for many years — that is, until a production hiatus when the company came under control of new Chinese ownership last year after its sale by the Dries family of Austria. Production of the Diamond aircraft line is being transferred from Europe to North America at Diamond’s factory in London, Ontario. Because there was only so much capacity within the company to handle such a herculean undertaking while simultaneously transitioning airplanes to the new Garmin G1000 NXi avionics system (which requires additional certification work), Diamond’s new owners decided to get the London production lines for the DA40 NG, DA42 and DA62 up and running first before circling back to the gasoline DA40. That’s OK, because the DA40 NG is probably the airplane you’ll want to own if you’re in the market for a single-engine Diamond. Boasting decent performance, exceptional operating economics and mild-mannered handling characteristics, the NG is a perfect first airplane that outclasses many other factory-built piston singles in its price range. It wasn’t always that way. Diamond first brought the DA40 NG to the U.S. market in 2009, but the combination of a low useful load, suspicions of diesel power, poor euro exchange rate and struggling economy conspired to dampen the market for what was a good airplane, but perhaps not a great airplane. So, where did Diamond go right?