More V4 Ducatis inbound: Plans for future luxury focus include all 150bhp+ models being powered by four-cylinder engines

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Ducati bosses have confirmed to MCN that we can expect to see more V4-powered models in the future – with every motorcycle over 150bhp now set to leave the Bologna factory with a four-cylinder motor.

The news came at an exclusive Diavel V4 launch event where MCN spoke with the bike’s Project Manager, Stefano Tarabusi, and Ducati Vice President of Global Sales and After Sales, Francesco Milicia.

“The V4 engine is a very important platform,” Stefano Tarabusi said. “Ducati has invested, is investing and will invest a lot of resources in this platform because we think that this is our platform for the future. 

Ducati Diavel V4 on the road

“Currently our strategy is to have a V4 engine for our top of the range models and for our mid-displacement models, a V-twin engine,” he continued. “We have two V4 engines – the Granturismo and the Desmosedici Stradale.

“It is a technical choice because in our opinion, and from our analysis, when you need a bike with an output below 150-155bhp, the best compromise is a V-twin.”

Currently, the only model that doesn’t adhere to this plan is the XDiavel range, which starts at £19,395 and produces a claimed 158.2bhp at 9500rpm from its 1262cc V-twin engine. When asked if this was also due for a V4 conversion, Tarabusi smiled: “You make one plus one equal two, and you get the result! It’s a logical conclusion.” We’ll take that as a yes.

Stefano Tarabusi, Project Manager of the Diavel V4, addresses crowds at The Gherkin building

Such a change would likely require more than a straight engine swap, though, with the Diavel V4 having to ditch its steel trellis chassis in favour of a cast aluminium monocoque.

Fans of the traditional V-twin set-up should fear not, though, with the Ducati man also pledging further investment in twin-cylinder bikes. He said: “We are working also on twins, absolutely, for mid-displacement motorcycles.

“The V2 is going to last for many years, but maybe not the current V2 because we launched the first generation of the Testastretta when I joined Ducati in 2000-2001. It’s quite an old engine in this sense.”

The 2023 Ducati event held at the Gherkin building in London

These update comments are likely to surround the 937cc Testastretta twin that is currently used in the Desert X retro off-roader, Multistrada V2 adventure bike, Monster family, SuperSport 950 sports tourer, and Hypermotard range. The larger 1262cc variant found in the XDiavel is likely to face the chop to give way to a V4.

This new direction comes as part of Ducati’s plan to become the pinnacle of luxury motorcycling – one of the drivers towards hosting the Diavel event at the top of London’s Gherkin for some of their wealthiest customers.

“We are trying to execute our dream and our vision, which is to make Ducati the most desirable brand on two wheels. We try to do this [by] delivering the best experience and the best product that we are able to do,” Francesco Milicia added.

MCN speak with Ducati VP of Sales, Francesco Milicia

“To do good products, you need to do big investment. To make this investment, you need to have a growing business,” he continued.

“We opened 200+ new dealerships and this is supporting the growth of the company. The company was never as strong as it has been in the past two or three years.”

This is backed up by all-time record sales figures in 2022, with the firm netting 61,562 sales across the globe, representing a 3.6% growth over 2021.

Ducati design presentation underway

When asked whether aims for luxury and exclusivity were a cause for concern during current international financial instability, Francesco Milicia said: “We are concerned, but we are also trying to [manage] this situation.

“Luckily, we are in a position today where we have a very strong portfolio, and we are confident for the future with new dealers opening and new products coming. 

“I think 2023 especially and 2024 will be very tough years. There’s no question about this and there’s also the medium-to-long-term problem that is the young generation.”

Ducati bosses and Italian dignitaries pose with the Diavel V4

He then went on to say that products were being worked on for the future to attempt to net more younger customers, but would not be drawn on further detail.

Also commenting about the future of the industry was Ducati UK Managing Director, Fabrizio Cazzoli, who explained: “I believe that our job is to create an aspiration in the motorcycle world. It’s not a secret, we are not here to make entry-level motorcycles; we’re here to create a dream for motorcyclists of the future who can aspire to own motorcycles like ours.”