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New super sports car from Ducati for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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New super sports car from Ducati for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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New super sports car from Ducati for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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New super sports car from Ducati for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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New super sports car from Ducati for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports bike for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports car for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports bike for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports bike for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports bike for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports bike for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports car for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports bike for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports car for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports bike for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports bike for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports bike for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports bike for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports bike for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports car for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports bike for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports bike for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports bike for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports car for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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First pictures from the press conference in Milan. Ducati presents its new super sports bike for 2012: Ducati 1199 Panigale.

Spotlight: Ducati 1199 Panigale

The most powerful two-cylinder of all time

Ducati builds the most powerful two-cylinder ever. But the Ducati 1199 Panigale is so much more than that. A look behind the scenes of development and a first impression of how it drives. More: Video from the Ducati engine test bench and interview on the presentation of the Panigale.

The starter pushes the crankshaft with difficulty, the first ignition is like a small explosion, the new Ducati-V2 rumbling stumbles into a stable idle. Wow! That sounds really good. Nobody can accuse the Panigale of being blocked. Even when the car is stationary, it speaks clear words from the two exhaust ports in front of the rear wheel. Claudio Domenicali, General Manager of D.ucati and the busy driver behind the Ducati development in recent years, makes the new Big Piston V2 flare up. "How did you manage that, is it so homologated?" “Its magic, but it works,” smiles Domenicali. It remains his secret how it works. Ducati fans will be enthusiastic about this sound, the 1198 SP, which the author is allowed to drive, can hardly be heard next to it. The Panigale makes the earth shake. Drive? You read that right, months before the press launch of the new sporty flagship from Ducati, MOTORRAD is allowed to do a lap with the Ducati. Exactly behind the 1199. Because obviously you don’t want to snub the rest of the world.

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Spotlight: Ducati 1199 Panigale
The most powerful two-cylinder of all time


Ducati

Ducati 1199 Panigale on the racetrack.

Next torture bench: Hydropulser. “We invested over a million euros here, most of it in Germany.” A poor Panigale is planted on two hydraulic rams, and an even poorer contemporary is wriggling on it. With hydraulic impulses generated by German technology, the wheels are shaken violently, the whole machine hops, wobbles, rattles. It’s good that Giovanni is made of plastic.

There’s a buzz in every corner of the testing department. The first pre-series machines are currently being put through their paces. Homologation experts run the test cycles on roller dynamometers. One team is punching fast lap times in the asphalt in Mugello, while a second is doing full throttle laps in Nardo. Nothing should be left to chance. Twice 30 panigales have been built so far, and series production will start sometime in February. The assembly line for the engine is being set up. High-tech, like a good automobile company, wherever you look. It is still eerily quiet here, but the first of these 195 hp powerhouses should be mounted on it before Christmas.

Technically, the wonder Ducati seems to be on the right track. Visually, it definitely is. When you see her in the wild, she looks petite and small. Only the rather angry headlights indicate what kind of brute potential lies dormant in it.

The fully load-bearing motor, to which the swing arm, suspension strut, monocoque and, for example, the Bosch ABS are screwed, is fully integrated into the overall appearance. Nobody misses the traditional tubular frame here.

Ducati designer Gianandrea Fabbro made his first sketches back in 2006. The creator of the Multistrada then had to compete against two other designs in an internal competition. In 2008 he finally got the green light for his very courageous design. Rightly. The Ducati 1199 Panigale is definitely one of the most exciting sports motorcycles of the last ten years. Perhaps the step for Ducati from the 1198 to the Panigale is just as big and important as the step from the rounded 888 to the legendary 916 15 years ago. In terms of technical progress, it definitely is. Not one screw comes from its predecessor. And not one manufacturer currently has the courage to invest as heavily in the supersport segment as Ducati. “This is our chance!” Says Claudio Domenicali. "If the other brands hold back, the world’s attention is on us alone." And that is what MOTORRAD thinks, that is optimally stimulated.

In Germany, the Ducati including integral ABS will cost 19,790 euros. Admittedly – a lot of money for a motorcycle. But not too much money for a new world in terms of two-cylinder super sports cars.

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