Domenicali: Ducati to build ‘cheaper V4’

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Ducati are developing a cheaper, lower-performance version of their V4 engine for use in new models, according to CEO Claudio Domenicali. The Bologna firm made the decision to dump V-twins for their flagship superbike when they debuted the new 1103cc Desmosedici Stradale motor this year in the new V4 Panigale and now they plan on getting a return on investment with a string of new V4 models in the future.

“There will be more V4s for sure,” said Domenicali, talking exclusively to MCN. “This engine is wonderful and actually it is a very strong platform – it is solid. It is obviously very light, but the gearbox, the clutch the engine cases and have been built strong. In due time the top of the range of our bikes will go this direction.”


But where will it go first? Cost of manufacturing means that the V4 motor will have limited applications – Ducati say assembly time is almost twice the V-twin and this means that there will be no middleweight with this motor. A prime candidate would have been the new Ducati Diavel, but after seeing the bike at a viewing during World Ducati Week we know it’ll utilise the Testastretta DVT V-Twin, just like its X-Diavel cousin.

This leaves three options – a new V4 Multistrada derivative, a big sports tourer or a four-cylinder supernaked that will go toe-toe with the likes of Aprilia’s V4 Tuono. In a previous interview the Ducati CEO indicated that it would be the Multistrada that we’d see first, but we think it will be 2020 before we see either bike.

Ducati are sticking to the party line that the only new V4 that we’ll see unveiled later this year will be a new short-stroke ‘R’ version of the Panigale V4, with capacity cut down to below 1000cc for WSB homologation rules.

“It will be more in the future,” said Domenicali about new applications for the V4, “because we think that we don’t want to just take this engine and apply it as it is. The new motor will be one that will be based on this technology, but will be much more tuned for longer distance and lower maintenance cost and this is where our development we will focused. It’s taking time because we want to be right, but this is where we are going.”

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Matt Wildee

By Matt Wildee

Former MCN Senior Editor