Ducati rounded off a months-long campaign of new model launches with the unveiling of the 2023 Panigale V4 SP2. Developed with track use in mind, it is an evolution of the Panigale V4 benefiting from numerous upgrades brought from the the company’s racing program.
“SP” stands for Sport Production, and engineers made sure the Panigale V4 was worthy of these initials by improving the motorcycle’s aerodynamics, ergonomics, engine, chassis and electronics. Power comes from a 1.1-liter Desmosedici Stradale V4 engine, tuned to develop 210 horsepower at a screaming 12,500 rpm and 91 pound-feet of torque at 11,100 rpm. Derived from the company’s MotoGP program, the mill features gear-specific torque curves and four power modes, Full, High, Medium and Low respectively. Full and Low are new.
The 210 horsepower is impressive, especially considering that the V4 SP2 tips the scales at 381 pounds. Riders can also order an optional titanium exhaust system developed with Akrapovič. It increases power and torque to 228 and 97 respectively, and it reduces the weight of the SP2 to 370 pounds. Put another way, in this configuration, the V4 SP2 weighs 75 pounds less than Ford’s 5.0-liter Coyote V8 engine.
Ducati fitted the gearbox with a dry clutch plate and a lighter final drive. The electronically controlled suspension system comes from Öhlins, the brakes are supplied by Brembo, and the five-spoke carbon fiber wheels are about three pounds lighter than comparable forged units.
Most of the visual changes have been made to improve function rather than form. For example, the tip of the brake and clutch levers are milled to reduce air resistance. The brushed aluminum fuel tank is exposed and the SP2 is only available in flat black with red accents.
Technology is also part of the package. Ducati notes that the instrument cluster borrows a display mode called “Track Evo” from MotoGP motorcycles. When this mode is enabled, the tachometer moves to the highest part of the screen, the rider aids are grouped on the right side so the rider can see exactly what is on at any given time, and race-specific information (such as speed and number laps covered) is displayed on the left. Each SP2 also comes with a GPS module with a lap timer and the Ducati Data Analyzer, which is very similar to Chevrolet’s Performance Data Recorder. It allows users to record parameters while racing to analyze them later.
Ducati dealers in the United States will begin taking orders for the 2023 Panigale V4 SP2 in mid-2022, with deliveries set to begin before the end of the year. The price is set at $39,500. Duration? A little bit, yes: For context, the Panigale V4 has a base price of $23,295. However, in order to get this level of performance and the technology developed on track in a car, an amount of at least six figures would be needed.