Well, it looks like rumors do come true. For a while now there has been speculation on whether or not Ducati would be unveiling a new V4 superbike. Ducati confirmed that it will be moving to the V4 platform for here onward, a sad moment for the V-twin enthusiasts. Thankfully Ducati is honoring the V-twin with one last hit, the new 1299 Panigale R Final Edition.
The Final Edition is set the be the swan song to the long-running V-twin design. The chassis will be the same as the 1199 Panigale R, which is in current WSBK circulation. The real difference is the addition of the 1299 Superquadro powerplant. This gives the Final Edition a total of 209hp and an absurd 105lb-ft of torque. Making this the most powerful production V-twin from Ducati.
The monocoque chassis designed by Ducati Corse allows the new Final Edition to have a dry weight of just 394.6lbs, which is truly incredible when you factor in that this bike is even Euro 4 compliant. They managed to fit it with the same full titanium Akrapovič exhaust that is used in WSBK, yet managed to fit all the need components for emissions. The Ducati engineers also managed to cram a complex suite of electronics like the ones you’d find on the race track. That means wheelie control, traction control, engine braking and a handful of riding Modes. From there you can custom and tune the Final Edition into your perfect riding machine.
Recognizing that their devotion to the V-Twin design has been one of the biggest appeals to their brand, Ducati wouldn’t let the design go without a few words, “Today, we’re here to celebrate its history, just as we stand on the cusp of a new era in which our Desmodromic system will be used on a new generation of V4 engines derived from extensive experience in MotoGP, a championship in which our engine has demonstrated outstanding performance. But that’s the future.” The future indeed. It’s hard to think of a world without a V-Twin superbike, yet we are almost there.
He went on to speak of the bike’s lineage saying, “Today, we want to pay homage to a twin-cylinder engine that – thanks to incredible torque and compactness – has seen Ducati win races in every SBK championship it has ever participated in. In short, it’s the engine that has written World Superbike history. From Marco Lucchinelli’s first victory on 3rd April 1988 with the 851 at Donington Park (in the first-ever world championship for modified production models) to the stunning 2017 wins by Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri on the Panigale R, Ducati has won no less than 333 races and taken 17 Constructors’ titles and 14 Rider’s titles.”
Through 9 generations of bikes, Ducati has captivated its fans with that bellowing V-twin sound. And now that’s all coming to an end. It’s a bittersweet moment really. I am a huge proponent of the V-twin design, really loving both the way it sounds and its power delivery. So in that regard, I’m sad to see it go. But on the other hand we are really looking at a design that has reached its full potential, leading it to be obsolete. I’ll miss the V-Twin sound, but the idea of a V4 Ducati sound has me excited. Release date and MSRP have yet to be announced but there are reports showing for around $44,000.