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Contained in the Sudden Collaboration Between Ducati and Bentley

Contained in the Sudden Collaboration Between Ducati and Bentley

When initially launched back in 2011, the Ducati Diavel cruiser motorcycle’s design was inspired by the Bentley Continental GT. It’s supremely fitting, then, that Ducati partnered with the Bentley crew from Crewe to create the Ducati Diavel for Bentley. Launched during Miami’s Art Basel milieu, a mere 500 models are on offer, though all the American allocations—about a quarter of that global production volume—are unfortunately already spoken for. 

The inspiration for the Ducati Diavel for Bentley is the W12 729-hp Bentley Batur, the marque’s most powerful—and, at $2.1 million, its most expensive—vehicle. Synergies between that hand-build British supercoupe and the Italian supercruiser bike abound: both are anchored in comfort during grand touring, though ample power can be unleashed within seconds; both are statement machines, ones that represent the apex of luxury; and both are scarcely produced.  (Unlike the Diavel, a few of the 18 production units of the Batur are still available.) 

While not the most extreme motorcycle-car-combination to emerge from Ducati’s plant in Bologna, Italy—that honor goes to the Ducati Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini mashup — the Diavel for Bentley won’t leave owners wanting for more oomph. A 1,158cc V4 Grandturismo engine and its accompanying 168 horsepower will undoubtedly prove more than ample. 

In the flesh, the bike has a striking presence and, when parked beside a Batur, the high level of collaboration between the designers at Bentley and Ducati was evident. The Batur’s grille, a distinctive red-on-black diamond pattern, pops on the Diavel’s side air intakes. Both feature a central rib; atop the Batur’s hood and on the Diavel’s front mudguard. And the rims, custom forged iterations for the Diavel, mimic the design of the Batur’s. 

The hardest hurdle for Ducati’s design director, Andrea Ferraresi, was transferring the Bentley DNA into the Diavel. “It didn’t seem obvious that we could use these specific proportions on the bike,” Ferraresi says, motioning to the duo on the Art Basel stage. “Normally, a Ducati points down; we want an impression of being aggressive, while the Bentley has a horizontal line.” 

Ducati Diavel Bentley

Ducati

After sitting with the head of design for Bentley, Christian Schrieber, Ferraresi learned the inspiration for the overall lines on the Batur was the notion of a resting beast, a powerful animal lying in wait, choosing when to pounce. Couple that core tenet with the more iconic shapes within the Batur’s bodywork, such as the wheel haunches, and a concept began to gel for Ferraresi. 

“We put a downward facing horizontal line in the middle of the Diavel,” Ferraresi explains, noting that when parked, it still has the Ducati hallmark of downward aggression. “And we included those shoulder haunches within the tank area.” His favorite element of the Bentley Diavel is the tail. Motioning to the Batur’s rear spoiler, which overlaps the body with a second layer of exposed carbon fiber, he says, “I wanted this same movement on the bike, so we’ve overlapped our bodywork with carbon, too. I love this part.” 

A custom startup screen on the Ducati’s digital display displays both brand’s logos in a stylish animation, before showing the motorcycle’s production number. A plaque mounted on the Diavel’s tank also details which of the 500 units you’re beholding. And if being 1 of 500 isn’t unique enough, another 50 Diavel for Bentley Mulliner bikes are available. The pricey pre-requisite for reserving one of those steeds is existing Bentley ownership. 

Ducati Diavel Bentley

Those Bentley customers will be treated to the bespoke options for their Diavel that they’ve come to love from Bentley’s Mulliner division, its white-glove customization division. “You can choose from five different colors for the bodywork,” Ferraresi says, “and you also have the option of having your Ducati painted to match the color of your Bentley.” (Naturally.) You can choose the color of your rims—satin grey or glossy black—and pick from a few front brake caliper colorways. Your carbon fiber can be visible or satin grey, and there are five contrast stitching options on the Alcantara seat. Lastly, you’ll drop that pesky extra zero on your number plate, with the badging showing that this bike is 1 of 50.  

The pricing for the Diavel for Bentley is expected to be around $70,000 for the U.S. market, while the Diavel for Bentley Mulliner will hover somewhere around $90,000. Expect those prices to skyrocket in coming years as units move into second ownership. “Our first Lamborghini Diavel was around $37,000,” says Ducati North American CEO Jason Chinnock. “Our Miami Ducati dealership later sold one for $110,000.” 

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Chinnock also says that Diavel for Bentley orders from America were completely sold out before customers even really knew what they were buying. “They’d not seen the motorcycle,” Chinnock says. “They’ve only seen hints of design elements, some detail shots to tease the bike.” 

The history of Ducati partnering with performance automakers is extensive—remember the 2013 Diavel AMG?—but press Chinnock on what to expect next in crossover collaborations and he’s mum. “Something will be happening next year that will be unexpected,” he grins. “Unexpected until you give it a bit of thought and then you’ll get it.” (Ducati MotoE meets Porsche’s Taycan or Rimac’s Nervera, perhaps?)

Click here to see all the photos of the Ducati Diavel for Bentley.

Ducati Diavel for Bentley

Ducati/Bentley

Source: Robb Report

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