From official Superbikes to the homologated version but born for the track: the Ducati Panigale V4 R 2023 smells of racing and does not hide it, the livery is inspired by the MotoGP motorcycles of the Bolognese firm and the white number plates adorned with the number 1 send a very clear message. The power on the track is such that the new edition of the Ducati Panigale is the most extreme ever built. The 998cc V4R engine pushes to 16,500 rpm and the price is in line with so much racing heritage, as it is priced at €43,990.
A few days behind schedule, the fourth installment of the Ducati World Première – the web series dedicated to the presentation of the 2023 novelties from the Borgo Panigale factory – arrived this Friday. As predicted by an affirmation that did not leave many doubts, the Panigale V4R, the most radical production hyper sports car produced by Ducati, was presented to the general public.
The protagonist of the 2023 model is again the 998 cc Desmosedici Stradale R 90° V4 engine: it reaches the maximum rpm of 16,500 rpm in sixth gear (500 rpm less in the other gears) and develops the maximum power of 218 hp at 15,500 rpm in Euro5 configuration. A value that, despite all the improvements, offers slightly reduced performance compared to the Euro4 predecessor due to the greater limitation due to the Euro5 exhaust system. But just by mounting the racing exhaust, this makes it possible to reach 237 hp, or 3 more than before.
In parallel with the development of the engine for the new V4 R, a special Shell oil has been developed which allows a reduction in mechanical friction by 10% and leads to an increase in maximum power by an additional 3.5 hp, which thus increases to 240, 5 ch. The formulation of this oil is based on the use of racing-type additives, specific to high-speed engines equipped with a dry clutch, which on this version is of smaller diameter and shorter axial length, but above all lighter by about 800 grams.
Many technical solutions from the world of competition equip this bestial machine: “gun drilled” titanium connecting rods, drilled longitudinally allowing the passage of oil from the big end to the small end, improving the lubrication of the axis and therefore the reliability under extreme conditions.
On the Desmosedici Stradale R engine, the pistons have a coating with a DLC surface treatment, as in MotoGP and Formula 1, and which is applied for the first time on a road engine. The pistons are then lightened by 5 grams, which allows a weight gain of 2% on these elements.
The profile of the intake cams is more aggressive and has greater lift, in addition it is tuned to new variable length funnels, also modified according to the maximum power in the configuration with racing exhaust.
The gear ratios have been modified, resuming what was done on motorcycles that race in Superbike, as had already happened on the Panigale V4 S 2022, with the lengthening of the first (+11.6%), second (+5.6%) and sixth gear (+1.8%). The smaller jump between first and second gear allows the Quick Shift to work more efficiently.
There are also all the electronic innovations introduced on the Panigale V4 2022 and 2023, with the expansion and evolution of Power Modes, the new Track Evo display on the dashboard, engine maps with dedicated calibration for each gear, DTC refinements and the Ride By Wire system, but also the adoption of the Engine Brake Control EVO 2 strategy, the new rapid shift strategy and updated cooling fan control.
For those who use the Panigale V4 R only on the track, the specific Performance DTC EVO 3 software for slick-rain tires has been developed (it is sold as an accessory and makes the motorcycle not homologated for road traffic). Allowing to activate the flashing operation of the rear position lamp, as required by the race regulations in the event of rain, and replaces the Street Riding mode with a Rain mode specially designed for use on wet surfaces.
Finally, as on racing bikes, the Pit Limiter is present to limit the speed when exiting and entering the pit lane, while the more compact accelerator cancels the free run.
The chassis of the V4 R is based on the famous Panigale family aluminum alloy front frame and single-arm swingarm. The height of the rear swingarm pivot can be adjusted to four positions in 2mm increments. The greater fork travel allows the wheel to maintain contact with the asphalt with more accentuated load transfers to the rear axle under acceleration, while the position of the swingarm pivot increases the anti-squat effect , improving stability, precision and line-keeping ability when exiting corners.
At the front, the Öhlins NPX25/30 pressurized fork increases its travel by 5 mm compared to the previous “R” version. This technical choice, combined with an Öhlins TTX36 shock absorber (with hydraulic preload adjustment) whose wheelbase is increased from 312 to 316 mm and a standard swingarm pivot adjustment in position +1, increases the rear height by 20 mm. In this way, a higher center of gravity is achieved and therefore greater agility when entering and changing direction.
The brushed aluminum fuel tank has an increased capacity to 17 liters and a profile that provides more favorable support for arms and legs when braking and driving. The saddle is flatter, reduced in foam and with a different coating to provide greater freedom of longitudinal movement. The new two-part fins give the same downforce as before but are more compact and thinner (respectively by 40% for the main and 50% for the secondary). New air extractors appear in the bottom of the fairing to improve cooling of the engine and the shifter on the other side.
Finally, among the accessories, it is worth mentioning the complete Akrapovič titanium exhaust system with double silencer under the saddle, (-5 kg compared to standard) and equipped with a dedicated mapping with which all the parameters of control are adapted to the new performance, magnesium wheels (-0.7 kg compared to the original forgings) as well as adjustable aluminum footrests developed in collaboration with Rizoma.
The 2023 Panigale V4R goes on sale for €43,990 for the standard version, or €51,525 with the racing kit. While each model of the 2023 vintage is still numbered, production is no longer limited to a specific number of copies.