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

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