- Published: Monday, 30 October 2017 18:25
New Singaporean home for Ducati brand, four new models launched including $130k Panigale R FE
Today, Italian luxury motorcycle maker Ducati opened its new showroom on 45 Leng Kee Road.
Present at the launch was three-time MotoGP champion, Jorge Lorenzo, along with Paolo Ciabatti, director of Ducati Corse, and Ducati Regional Director for Asia, Marco Biondi. (above from left to right, including John Gaw, GM of Ducati Singapore).
The new premises for Ducati Singapore, the new dealership under the Wearnes Automotive group, occupy a space on the Wearnes Automotive complex at 45 Leng Kee, in between Infiniti and Bentley.
The dealership is now part of the Wearnes Prestige stable of brands, which also includes Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti. Ducati Singapore began operation on July 1, 2017, taking over from previous dealer, Ducatisti SG, which had a showroom in Ubi. In 2015, Ducatisti SG had itself taken over the business from Singapore’s first Ducati dealership, Minerva Motor.
The new showroom occupies 280-square metres of area. Besides motorcycle displays, it also has a dedicated workshop, service counter and merchandise.
Four new Ducati motorcycles took the stage at the launch: The Panigale R Final Edition, the SuperSport S, Scrambler Cafe Racer and Scrambler Desert Sled.
The Panigale R Final Edition (above) is based on the top-performing, non-limited variant Ducati’s current flagship superbike.
At $132,000 with COE, it’s not as expensive as the Ducati Superleggera, the limited-edition, $200k-plus most-extreme variant of the Panigale, it has a related engine with almost as much power, or 209hp, thanks to a full titanium Akrapovic system, special engine parts and tuning.
That’s colossal on a bike that weighs only 179kg wet (sans fuel), so Ducati has slapped on top-drawer components and a whole host of electronics to help keep it rubber-side down, including a homologation-special aluminium frame, Ohlins race-spec suspension, forged alloy wheels and more.
READ MORE: What normal Ducati does Jorge train on, and why his mom's butter taught him how to race. No, seriously.
The unique tricolore paint job and ‘Final Edition’ name is a send-off for the classic V-twin engine - the Superquadro engine is the last in a long lineage of racing V-twins from Bologna. The next Ducati superbike, which will debut soon in November, will use a V4 engine.
More sane is the SuperSport S, priced at $44,500 with COE, which is a new type of daily sportsbike that combines Ducati sportsbike looks with a more approachable 113hp engine similar to the one found in the Multistrada 950.
Ducati launched two new variants of its successful Scrambler series models, both priced at $36,500 with COE, at the event as well:
The Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer, with styling that lives up to the name, including clip-on handlebars, a ‘racing number’ and monoposto single-seat layout.
Also launched was the off-road centric Scrambler Desert Sled. It’s actually meant to be ridden off tarmac, thanks to higher suspension, reinforced frame and different swingarm. Both new Scramblers use the ‘standard’ Scrambler power unit, an 803cc V-twin engine with 75hp.
“We are delighted not just with this stunning new Singapore dealership, but also look forward to our new partnership with Wearnes as they have been established to be a leading luxury automotive retailer in the region”, said Mr Biondi in the official statement, “We are confident that the partnership with Wearnes will take the Ducati experience to new heights”.
John Gaw, general manager for Ducati Singapore - who was previously part of Ducatisti SG, said it was clearly a positive move for the brand, and put it on stronger footing amidst changing times: “We aim to marry the Wearnes experience and quality with Ducati. Large companies give customers more confidence, and it’s also a sign of how tough things are for independent dealers run by Singapore entrepreneurs.”
He noted that dealerships of key rivals in the luxury motorcycle business, BMW and Harley-Davidson, are likewise owned by larger conglomerates, namely Performance Motors owned by Sime Darby, and Harley-Davison under the Komoco Group.
In the automotive sector, there are almost no independent dealers left. In May this year, the Maserati dealership migrated from long-time dealer Hong Seh to new dealer Ital Auto, also part of the Komoco Group of companies. In 2011, the Mazda dealership changed hands from the Phng family, under Mr Phng Hooi Chay, to the Eurokars Group.
Globally, Ducati has also seen a radical change in its business approach in recent years, ever since being acquired by the Volkswagen Group, through Audi, in 2012.
The model line-up has expanded considerably from its one-time base of sport and sport-oriented motorcycles to include more accessible models. These include the Ducati Scrambler and 400cc Scrambler Sixty2, both aimed at younger and urban riders, and are now the least-expensive, and best-selling Ducatis.
READ MORE: Small luxury - BMW’s Class 2A, sub-400cc motorcycle takes the fight to the Ducati Scrambler and KTM Duke 390
It hasn’t lost sight of its roots in racing though - this year it also launched the Ducati Superleggera, a limited-edition, Superbike-spec exotic track machine, costing more than $200,000 here - naturally, they’re all sold out both in Singapore and around the world.
Next year it will launch a new flagship superbike to replace the current 1299 Panigale, and it will be powered by a V4 engine, which is a significant technological departure from Ducati’s past approach of V-twin engines.