The Panigale V4 minus the fairing.

Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been suspecting that the new V4 engine developed for the Panigale was going to find its way into a streetfighter-style model. It started with a simple rumor that turned into a promised following a confirmation that a naked V4 was coming by none other than Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali. Then, a few weeks ago, a naked Panigale was spotted lined up for the upcoming Pike’s Peak. Houston, we now have a visual!

Our colleagues at Italian media DDG Magazine spotted the naked V4 being tested on track and have managed to snap a few pictures. While the pictures are poor quality—this could be a Big Foot-type situation had Domenicali himself not uttered the words “naked V4”—we can notice some similarities to the fully-faired Panigale, namely the headlights, integrated into a standalone headstock, and the tail end. Picture a Panigale without a fairing. This obviously sparks rumors that the new naked could potentially mark the return of the Streetfighter, a model that disappeared from the brand’s line up a mere four years ago.

Considering the Panigale’s 1,103cc Desmosedici Stradale V4 was specifically developed for the new Pani model, it was only a matter of time before Ducati found new applications for its new mill. For instance, same time last year, a rumor surfaced that a detuned version of the V4 would make its way in a new generation of the entry-level Panigale. That rumor was put to rest when the new Panigale 959 was spotted earlier this month riding on an L-twin.

With the mule now in its testing phase, we can suppose that a production version of the new V4-based model will make an appearance at EICMA 2019. More details will become available as we near the model’s launch.

Source: DDG Magazine