An all-wheel-drive Audi challenges a one-wheel-drive Ducati for high-speed supremacy.
The Ducati Panigale V4 is the Italian bike brand's first-ever, mass-produced V4 motorcycle. While the $21,195 starting price looks steep at first, the cash gets buyers a cutting-edge cycle with a 1,103-cc, four-cylinder engine that produces 211 horsepower(157.5 kilowatts) and 90 pound-feet (122 Newton-meters) of torque. To test its performance, Autocar lines up the superbike against a base Audi R8 with 540 hp (403 kW) and 398 lb-ft (540 Newton-meters).
In terms of raw engine specs, the R8 crushes the Panigale V4, but these figures ignore a key factor – weight. The Ducati tips the scales at just 436.5 pounds (198 kilograms) when full of fluids. Meanwhile, the Audi weighs 3,616 pounds (1,640 kg) in European spec, which is over eight times more than the Panigale V4.
We don't want to spoil the ending, but this race comes down to if the Audi's better traction from its all-wheel drive and larger contact patches from four, meaty tires can best the lighter weight Ducati. Autocar monitors the two vehicles' time to reach 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour), 100 mph (161 kph), through the quarter mile (402 meters), and half mile (805 meters).
After the race, keep watching to see what happens when the Ducati reaches 186 mph (300 kph). At that velocity, the digital speedometer shuts off, but the bike keeps accelerating. This stems from an agreement among bike makers after the Suzuki Hayabusa's ability to eclipse 300 kph where they no longer let models top that speed. Rather than installing a limiter, Ducati just turns off the display but still lets riders experience the cycle's full performance ability.
For now, Ducati and Audi remain part of the Volkswagen Group family of brands, but they might not be under the same umbrella for long. Rumors suggest that so-called "non-core businesses" like the motorcycle maker and truck brands might be on the market in the future.
Source: Autocar via YouTube