Ducati has been honing its present-generation, 90-degree V-twin for 33 years, dating back to the Pantah 500, its last completely new engine designed by the great Dr. Fabio Taglioni.
Under the guidance of its current General Manager, Dr. Claudio Domenicali, Ducati is in good health but has realized that the time had come for a new engine. The current Testastretta 1200cc engine offers little room for growth beyond its existing performance and reliability levels, so an all-new replacement is on the drawing board.
Many of the details appear to be evolutions, but others, such as the proposed internal dimensions, are very daring. As with the Desmosedici, Ducati has solicited support from HPE Technical Consulting to develop what promises to be the ultimate Twin.
Details are sketchy at this very early stage, but the new Twin will likely displace slightly in excess of 1100cc. We are fairly certain it will feature plain bearings for both rod and main journals. The final result will be a much stiffer crankshaft, with less axial loading to the crankcase and reduced mechanical noise. Where things get radical is the use of an extremely over-square bore-to-stroke ratio approaching 2:1. To create a displacement of more than 1100cc, the projected bore size would be around 112mm with about 56mm of stroke. Maximum engine speed would theoretically be in the 11,500rpm range, similar to that of the 2006 Ducati 749R.
We predict that ultra-efficient, modern chains will replace belts to drive the camshafts in the new Ducati engine's heads. Desmodromic actuation would be reserved for Superbike models, while spring-only versions may be used for other platforms. The cylinders will be tipped as far backward as possible to approach an upright Vee configuration rather than the usual “L.” The combination of a short stroke and a tighter Vee will reduce engine length by around 40mm for better weight distribution within the chassis.
Expect the engine to be produced in both air-/oil-cooled and liquid-cooled versions. If our information is correct, you won't see this engine prior to the 2010 model year. Do you want to know more about the brand new Ducati Superquatro engine used in the Ducati 1199 Panigale? Check this out The New Superquadro Engine of the Ducati 1199 Panigale.