2020 Ducati Superleggera V4 | First Look Review

2020 Ducati Superleggera V4
Ultra powerful, ultra light and ultra exclusive. Say hello to the 2020 Ducati Superleggera V4.

Last fall Ducati announced updates to its Panigale V4 and Panigale V4 S superbikes, including a new aerodynamics package and revised electronics, suspension and throttle-by-wire mapping. The 214-horsepower Panigale V4 weighs 436 pounds and the V4 S weighs 430 pounds (claimed figures)—that’s roughly 0.5 horsepower per pound for both models.

Read our 2020 Ducati Lineup First Look Review

Ducati has now unveiled the Superleggera V4, which is Italian for “super light.” With a full racing kit and exhaust, it makes 234 horsepower and weighs a feathery 335.5 pounds, which is 0.7 horsepower per pound—a 40% higher power-to-weight ratio.

2020 Ducati Superleggera V4
The frame, subframe, swingarm and wheels on the 2020 Ducati Superleggera V4 are made of light, strong carbon fiber. Bodywork is carbon fiber too.

How did Ducati shave 100 pounds off the already-svelte Panigale V4? The Bologna-based company says the “Superleggera V4 is the world’s only street-legal motorcycle with the entire load-bearing structure of the chassis (frame, subframe, swingarm and wheels) made from composite material [carbon fiber], achieving a 6.7 kg [14.8 lb] reduction in weight.” Many other components, such as the bodywork and aerodynamic wings (which produce 110 pounds of downforce at 168 mph), are also made of carbon fiber, while others are made of titanium, magnesium or aluminum.

2020 Ducati Superleggera V4
The Superleggera’s “biplane” winglets produce produce 110 pounds of downforce at 168 mph.

The Superleggera is powered by a 998cc V4 – the Desmosedici Stradale R also found in the Panigale V4 R – rather than the 1,103cc V4 in the Panigale V4 and V4 S, saving another 6.2 pounds. The smaller, lighter engine makes more power – 224 horsepower vs 214 in the standard configuration. The race kit and exhaust further reduce weight while boosting claimed horsepower to 234.

Of course, the Superleggera V4 is equipped with the very best in electronics and components, including Öhlins suspension (with a titanium shock spring) and Brembo Stylema R front calipers.

2020 Ducati Superleggera V4
Exotic materials, top-shelf components and the highest power-to-weight ratio of any street-legal motorcycle to roll out of a major manufacturer’s factory.

Only 500 Superleggera V4s will be produced, each individually numbered and including a certificate of authenticity. The bike ID number (XXX/500), which matches the VIN, is displayed on the frame, fork yoke and ignition key.

The start of deliveries is planned for June 2020, and five bikes will be produced per day. Superleggera buyers will also have a chance to purchase an exclusive Superleggera V4 premium Dainese leather suit with integrated airbag and an Arai carbon fiber helmet, both emblazoned with the bike’s colors and graphics.

Such a premium motorcycle will include a premium “SBK Experience,” allowing owners to ride the Panigale V4 R, which competes in the SBK World Championship, on a test track at Mugello. Thirty lucky Superleggera V4 owners will have an exclusive opportunity to enjoy the “MotoGP Experience,” where they will be able to ride a Desmosedici GP20 on a race track.

Ducati has not released pricing, but the 2017 Ducati 1299 Superleggera went for a cool $80,000 and was also limited to 500 units—every one of which was sold in short order. If you have the interest and the means, make haste to your nearest Ducati dealer.

Check out Rider’s Guide to New 2020 Street Motorcycles



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