After months of shutdown, Italy is finally letting its citizens out of their houses, to start their march back to the new normal of daily life. We can only imagine the great relief this means to millions of Italians, after they endured some of the worst effects of COVID-19 in the world.
For our own selfish two-wheeled pursuits, this news also means the return of operations for Italian motorcycle manufacturers, which have seen their factories motionless while larger issues were addressed. Of course, this too leads us to the news that life is returning to the Ducati factory in Borgo Panigale.
Accordingly, we get word (from a tweet from Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali, no less) that the Ducati Superleggera V4 is nearing the start of its production, but not before the carbon fiber superbike heads to the Nardò for some high-speed testing.
Week 3 after restart is almost finished. Dreams are now becoming real: this is last pre production Superleggera ready to move to Nardo for final quality check. No other road homolgated bike is even close: 224 HP for 159 Kg dry weight. A real dream for any passionate biker! pic.twitter.com/dxbIoMWKU9
— Claudio Domenicali (@domenicaliC) May 15, 2020
For those who aren’t familiar with the Nardò Ring, it is a giant facility in Italy near Lecce (in the heel of Italy’s boot). The testing facility was original built by Fiat, and its main feature is a giant circle track that is 12.6km long (just under 8 miles).
With a “neutral” speed of around 150 mph (the speed at which the vehicle tracks straight on the banked course), it is the ideal facility to push the limits for top speed on automobiles and motorcycles.
Presumably, this means that Ducati had some high-speed work in mind for the Superleggera V4, as part of its “quality control” measures.
Assuming all went well in Nardò, the Ducati Superleggera V4 is slated to hit the production lines next week, with deliveries of the exclusive superbike expected in the United States by mid-July.
Priced at an even $100,000, that pretty amount of currency gets you a 230hp (172 kW) superbike that tips the scales at a paltry 335.5 lbs dry (152.2kg), when the Akrapovic exhaust is added to the kit.
Featuring a carbon fiber chassis, carbon fiber bodywork, carbon fiber wheels, and a longer carbon fiber swingarm, the Ducati Superleggera V4 is the ultimate machine from the Italian motorcycle brand, and the superbike takes more than a couple cues from Ducati Corse’s racing pursuits.
Most notable are the advanced winglets, which come from the aerodynamics package found on the Ducati Desmosedici GP16 race bike from the MotoGP Championship. Ducati says that the winglets on the Superleggera V4 produce 110 lbs (50 kg) of downforce at 167 mph (270 km/h).
It is not clear how many Ducati Superleggera V4 models are headed to the USA, but we would expect about 100 or so units – making this quite the exclusive affair.