It’s confirmed. The previously somewhat-secret, new Ducati codenamed ‘Project 1408’ has been confirmed to indeed be the new 2017 1299 Superleggera like many have surmised. Like the 1199 Superleggera from 2014, only 500 models of the new and ultra-exclusive Panigale will be made—dripping with advanced, weight shedding materials and debuting some new electronic innovations to stay true to its prestigious namesake.
The motorcycle will debut at this year’s EICMA, but that hasn’t stopped the press from leaking photos from the password-protected Project 1408 website. The page has been updated since and marketing efforts are on full throttle.
The Ducati 1299 Superleggera isn’t just dripping with carbon fibre. It is carbon fiber, basically. The ultralight Superleggeras are street legal bikes with carbon fiber frames, subframes, swingarms, and wheels. Even the fairings are carbon fiber. What’s even more mind-blowing is the engine—the most powerful twin-cylinder ever produced yet. It makes a whopping 215 hp at 11,000 rpm and 145 Nm of torque at 9,000 rpm. On a motorcycle that only weighs 156 kg (one measly kilogram more than the 1199 Superleggera), that should feel like you’re seriously riding a rocket.
Aside from all the carbon fibre, other components aspire towards featherweight lightness. The tank is fabricated in aluminum, the carbon fibre monocoque frame is laminated with aluminum inserts, and the wheel hubs are also aluminum.
Fully adjustable inverted forks take care of front suspension via TiN treated 43mm Ohlins FL936 units with lightweight billet bottoms and lightweight springs. An adjustable Ohlins TTX36 mono shock is in the rear with a titanium spring. The exhaust doesn’t stop at the bottom with a belly silencer too. The titanium Akrapovic system climbs up the rear on the Superleggera, and ends in a high mounted dual silencer.
Electronics on the new Superleggera speak to its exclusivity as well. It’s the first to get Ducati Power Launch (DPL). You can expect a more refined version of Ducati Traction Control EVO (DTC EVO) too. The bike also has Ducati Slide Control (DSC) and Engine Brake Control (EBC), along with a slew of other premium high-tech goodies.
“Our engineers have once again created a motorcycle that redefines the boundaries of what is possible, turning a dream into reality. The quintessence of Ducati. All aspects of this motorcycle are taken to the maximum expression of what is technically possible today. Unequalled technology and passion in a limited edition for true enthusiasts,” wrote Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali in a welcoming letter to the Project 1408 website.
The 2017 1299 Superleggera is going to cost a pretty penny—unsurprisingly. It’ll be priced even more than the previous 1199 Superleggera. Rumors of the MSRP being set at $70,000 have since jumped to $80,000 (around PhP 3.5M - 3.9M).