Ducati has begun teasing something very special, which for now is going by the name of “Project 1408” on a micro-website the Italian manufacturer has setup.
The site itself has no information, and doesn’t even tease what Project 1408 could be, but Ducati has already begun reaching out to its VIP customers, teasing something made from carbon fiber.
Sources tell us though that the Ducati Project 1408 is a new Superleggera model, based off the Ducati 1299 Panigale platform.
This new superbike isn’t just the Ducati 1199 Superleggera with the 1299 motor bolted into it though, with our sources saying that the Ducati 1299 Superleggera takes the weight savings a step further, with the highlight being a carbon fiber chassis.
Where as the Ducati 1199 Superleggera used magnesium as the material of choice for Ducati’s “frameless” chassis, the Ducati 1299 Superleggera will use carbon fiber, a nod to Ducati’s MotoGP program, before it switched back to an aluminum twin-spar chassis.
Expect then to see a carbon fiber headstock/airbox, as well as a carbon fiber swingarm, on the Ducati 1299 Superleggera.
Other goodies will include brand new top-shelf Öhlins suspension pieces, though we understand these not to be the electronic semi-active variety, as those are too heavy.
The wheels will be carbon fiber as well, made by BST, and you can expect similar attention to weight savings throughout the entire machine, as was seen on the preceding Superleggera model.
The exhaust is said to look very similar to the one currently being used in the factory Ducati World Superbike team, with exhaust exits under the seat, rather than underslung below the chassis. We would assume this exhaust will again be a titanium Akrapovic unit.
The motor too is said to be close to WSBK-spec, and we have seen rumors of 220hp being floated about on Ducati message forums by contacted customers. If true, then this truly would distinguish the Ducati 1299 Superleggera in Bologna’s lineup, making it both the lightest and most powerful superbike ever from the Italian factory.
As such, ee can expect the Ducati 1299 Superleggera to end up costing north of $65,000 in the USA, as it assuredly will command even more of a premium than its 1199 counterpart. With that in mind, we would guesstimate a $70,000 price tag for the 1299 Superleggera, though caution that pricing across different countries will fluctuate.
It is expected that the Ducati 1299 Superleggera will be the last model in the Panigale line, with a new superbike expected for the 2018 model year. There are strong indications from A&R sources that the 2018 model year Superbike will have a V4 power plant.
Expect to se the Ducati 1299 Superleggera break cover on November 7th, in Milan.
Source: Bothan Spies