If I'm riding mostly flat routes and can live with the range of the Turbo (especially with the larger battery capacity in the 2016s), should I buy now or hold out for the Vado/Super Commuter/XM700+, etc. That is the question...
Too soon to tell. We don't really know price, performance, or availability. The "wait till next year" question is always an issue. The way I look at it is that I bought a "2016" base Turbo for $3,000 in November of last year. I have already ridden it 1,200 miles, enjoyed the heck out of it, and will try to buy a larger battery before they become unavailable (which due to the discontinuance of the Turbo and Turbo X may be soon). My goal is to be able to put a minimum of 5,000 miles on it (2 or 3 more seasons) before I would consider upgrading.
The major issue in your decision really becomes availability. If you want to start riding now, then buy now, get a great deal on inventory that Specialized (in particular) is try to clear, and don't wait too long to get a battery. If you want to delay your purchase and bet that they (or an equivalent) will come to market with something significantly better at your price point, then wait.
The history of technical innovation shows us that there are "price bands" that exist in the market until someone comes out with a "paradigm changer" that blows everything up. The same was true of PC's in the 80's and 90's. Right now the price bands (IMO) are:
- $500 - $1,500 - Bargain e-bikes. Mostly mail order. May have really good features in one or two specific areas. May be a crap shoot on components, build quality, support.
- $2,500 - $4,000 - Mid-level quality bikes. Higher end components, better build quality. Sold at retail with service network. Usually some factor (power, range, electronics) that differentiates from high end.
- $5,000 - $10,000 - High End quality bikes. Highest end components, bigger batteries, newest technology.
- above $10,000 - Exotic e-bikes. Hand made, unusual feature sets, design, etc.
Generally, newest technology comes out in the higher price ranges and then trickles down. Since the rate of innovation is still pretty high wrt. the electronics, integration, motors, and batteries, the trickle down is happening fairly quickly. Today's mid-range (Turbo/Turbo X) is yesterdays (2013-15) high end e-bike. I do NOT expect the Vado Expert to be priced in the same range as the current Turbo or Turbo X initially, but instead in the lower end of the "High End" ($5,000+). Perhaps the price of the Turbo S will come down substantially and the Vado Expert will be the newest high end.