Spy shots have emerged showing what appears to be a new special-edition Ducati Panigale V4 Superleggera that could redefine the horsepower race.
Meaning 'superlight' in Italian, the Superleggera follows a Ducati tradition of producing a slimmed-down version of their top-spec superbike, with the both the 1199 and 1299 V-twin Panigales previously receiving the same treatment.
Just like the previous versions, virtually everything that can conceivably be made from carbon fibre appears to be.
There’s a brand new subframe, which has a lack of pillon mounts and gentle curves that suggest the smooth mouldings of a lightweight carbon number. The outer tail pieces too have been modified, surrounding the rear lights with carbon.
The new machine also appears to be using a set of 10-spoke BST Rapid Tek carbon wheels, as seen on the 1299 Superleggera, as well as new carbon-fibre bodywork based on the V4R.
Unlike the 1299 Superleggera before it, this new bike doesn’t appear to use a carbon frame, with the bike pictured here seemingly equipped with the aluminium design already found on the existing 217bhp Panigale V4R.
However it’s likely that it's a lighter weight version that could not be fitted to the V4R due to the expense.
Despite this, it is plausible that the swingarm is in fact carbon fibre, shrouded by a blacked-out paint finish. This is because the aforementioned 1299 special edition made use of such a swinging arm, with only part of the carbon weave exposed.
There's also a revised titanium exhaust system, which adopts end cans similar to the Akrapovic unit fitted to the Ducati Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916.
Unlike the limited edition, the header pipes on the bike pictured differ from the layout found on any other V4 Panigale, with the blueing finish potentially suggesting a full titanium system as well as shorter exhaust run to save weight.
This top-spec machine also features a different clutch - a sealed unit, rather than the exposed dry design found on models including the V4 25° Anniversario 916.
Away from this, the bike also looks to make use of the same manually-adjusted Öhlins NPX 25-30 forks as the WSB-focussed Panigale V4R, which saves around 600g over the electronic semi-active unit found on the 1103cc V4S. There also appears to be an Öhlins fully-adjustable TTX36 rear shock.
Unlike the forks on the R model, this bike features a small blue spot at the base, which could well be an internal way of easily seeing what’s been worked on. Given it’s likely 10kg lighter than the standard model, the suspension has likely been resprung and revalved.
We've no clear steer from Ducati on pricing or launch date for this new bike, however if they do unveil the machine this year it will likely be on Wednesday, October 23, with the rest of their 2020 range.
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