Ducati Superleggera V4 Set to Debut in 2020

Rennie Scaysbrook | January 16, 2020

Ducati is pushing the performance boat right out with the announcement of “Project 1708”, otherwise known around the traps as the Ducati Superleggera V4.

Project 1078, named so as a homage to the date work first started on the project (2017, August), will be the most powerful and straight-up exotic motorcycle ever to come from Bologna with a license plate. Perspective owners have already been contacted by the brand, with an exclusive micro-site set up to register buyer interest.

Ducati is claiming a whopping 224 hp at 15,250 rpm and 83 lb-ft of torque at 11,750 rpm, with a retailing price of $100,000 here in the U.S.

The Ducati Superleggera V4 will feature a carbon fiber front frame, subframe, wheels and bodywork (that also features the bi-plane winglets off the 2016 Desmosedici MotoGP machine for a claimed 110 lb of available downforce), for a claimed dry weight of only 335 lb. By comparison, a 2020 Panigale V4 R has a claimed dry weight of 379 lb.

As expected, you’ll get almost every best-of part with the Superleggera V4. Akrapovic’s full race titanium exhaust, and Ohlins NPX25/30 gas-charged forks and TTX36 shock with a titanium spring will see to that. Brembo has also donated their Stylema R calipers, and you even get a Chaz Davies-style MCS mater-cylinder with a remote adjuster for extra coolness.

Ducati Superleggera V4 lights

Ducati is saying the Superleggera V4 is their first carbon fiber frame that’s gone into production. That’s partly true if you consider the 1299 Superleggera never really had a frame, as such, being a monocoque design, where the airbox attached to the steering head and that to the front of the engine. The alloy-framed Panigale V4 broke the monocoque mold when it was released back in 2018 with the Front Frame design. Think of the Front Frame as half a twin-spar design—the engine is still a structural chassis member—but the thick, beefy Front Frame allows the engineers to vary torsional and lateral rigidity separately to make the bike handle the road surfaces with better stability.

Only 500 units of the Superleggera V4/Project 1708 will be made worldwide, and at that price tag, it’s unlikely you’ll see one being thrashed around a racetrack in any form of anger (we live in hope, though). Still, the Ducati Superleggera V4 will be one hell of a machine, either being ripped around a racetrack or being kept in someone’s living room as a work of art.

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Rennie Scaysbrook | Road Test Editor Rennie Scaysbrook is our Road Test Editor. A lifetime rider, the Aussie made the trek across the Pacific to live the dream in the U.S. of A. Likes puppies and wheelies.