The Superquadro is the most powerful twin-cylinder production engine on the planet and is destined to power the new Ducati 1199 Panigale with absolute performance perfection.
The innovative Superquadro engine, so called because of its massively over-square bore and stroke ratio, has increased power to an absolute production twin-cylinder milestone of 195hp and torque to 98.1 lb-ft (13.5kgm) with user-friendly Riding Modes that deliver that power appropriate to the rider’s style and environment. Its construction has enabled a radical reduction in overall vehicle weight and, further identifying Ducati’s constant pursuit of performance perfection, major services have been extended to 24,000km (15,000 miles).
In calculating the optimum configuration to achieve the next big step forward in power output for the L-twin engine, Ducati and Ducati Corse engineers increased engine speed and enhanced breathability with the incredible bore and stroke of 112mm x 60.8mm. The intense study of power and ridability resulted in an output of 195hp @ 10,750rpm and 98.1 lb-ft (13.5kgm) @ 9,000rpm.
With the engine designed to be a fully stressed member of the chassis, its architecture has been completely re-calculated to provide the best possible vehicle construction for layout, weight distribution and strength.
With such enhanced “breathing”, the challenge for the Superquadro’s Design Engineers was to program performance-optimised fuel mapping for a smoother cycle-to-cycle engine operation, without compromising emissions.
With such an extreme engine, never before has Ducati's unique Desmodromic system been so vitally important. With the high engine speeds at which the Superquadro operates combined with such large valves, it would be impossible for the valve’s rocker-arm to follow the steep closure profile of the cam lobe using normal valve closure springs. The Desmo system actuates valve closure mechanically with the same method and accuracy as it opens, enabling steep cam profiles, radical cam timings, large valves and high operating speeds. This system is used on every single Ducati motorcycle and constantly proven on Ducati Corse’s World Superbikes and Desmosedici MotoGP bikes.
Controlling such large valves with the precise Desmodromic system also led engineers to replace the original belt-drive concept with a combined chain and gear-drive arrangement.
Ducati’s engineers also capitalised on the opportunity of the “blank canvas” project to increase dimension between the centres of the six-speed gearbox shafts, enabling larger diameter, stronger gears to transmit the enhanced power output. New for a top-of-the-range Ducati Superbike is a “wet”, oil-bath clutch. Based very closely on the design of the Multistrada and Diavel components, the clutch assembly features a “slipper” function and a progressive self-servo mechanism that compresses the friction plates when under drive from the engine. While enhancing frictional efficiency, this also results in a rider-friendly light clutch lever “feel” at the handlebar. Conversely, when the drive force is reversed (over-run), the mechanism reduces pressure on the friction plates, enabling a true racing “slipper” action, reducing the destabilizing effect of the rear-end under aggressive down-shifting and provide a much smoother feeling when closing the throttle or down-shifting under normal riding conditions.