While there are quite a few potential buyers (including India’s Eicher, Bajaj, Hero Motocorp) reportedly interested in buying Ducati from Dieselgate-hit VW Group, the Italian superbike marque is focused on making a significant technological shift.
Ducati has taken wraps off its brand new Desmosedici Stradale V4 engine which is set to power the brand’s upcoming high-performance models. The first production Ducati in the history to feature a four-cylinder engine will be the new gen Panigale which is scheduled to be unveiled at EICMA 2017 in Milan.
Derived from the 4-cylinder Desmosedici Moto GP race bike, the 90-degree V4 motor displaces 1,103 cc and produces a colossal 210 hp at 13,000 rpm and 120 Nm from 8,750 to 12,250 rpm in its Euro 4 avatar. The motor will be mated to a 6-speed transmission with Ducati Quick Shift system.
Ducati has confirmed that the new V4 is not a single engine but a family of engines. Another variant with displacement slightly less than 1,000 cc is in advanced stages of development. This unit will power the new flagship Panigale R (launch set for 2018) which is essentially a homologated version of Ducati’s Superbike Championship contender (new engine will enter competition from 2019). The litre-class V4 unit will rev higher than the standard 1.1-litre unit and will have higher power output.
The Desmosedici Stradale V4 has retained MotoGP engine’s bore dia of 81 mm which means the in-engine fluid dynamics are nearly identical. The motor features 4 valves per cylinder (hence the term ‘Sedici’ in the name which means 16 in Italian) which benefit from Ducati’s popular Desmodromic system. Other salient features include variable height intake horn, 70-degree offset crank pins, semi-dry sump lubrication, 4 oval throttle bodies, and multiplate wet anti-patter servo clutch. The motor has an impressive maintenance interval of 24,000 km.