Ducati has struck a rich seam with its recent runs of limited-edition bikes and the latest tie-in is with VW Group stablemate Bentley – for when you just must have a bike that matches your high-priced motor.
The Ducati Diavel for Bentley (yes, that’s what it’s called) takes its design cues from the £1.65 million Bentley Batur, itself an ultra-exclusive limited-edition – just 18 are being made – based on the 208mph Bentley Continental GT Speed.
The Ducati won’t be quite that exclusive, with a planned production run of 500 examples, but to cater to customers who want to pay more for an even rarer version Ducati will also make 50 ‘Ducati Diavel for Bentley Mulliner’ machines with a higher spec, although those will be reserved for Bentley customers.
It’s essentially the same game that Ducati played with the Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini, which was made in a run of 630 standard models and an addition 63 ‘Lamborghini Speciale Clienti’ versions, painted to match their owners Lambos. All 693 of those sold within hours of their announcement last year, so it makes sense for Ducati to repeat the idea with a focus on extracting money from the overstuffed wallets of Bentley owners.
Ducati says its own designers worked hand-in-hand with their opposite numbers at Bentley to come up with the Diavel for Bentley’s look, picking the ‘Scarab Green’ colour from the Bentley Mulliner option book and tweaking the design to evoke elements of the Batur’s look. The wheels, for instance, are forged alloys finished in Dark Titanium Satin and designed to mimic those of the car, while the Diavel’s air intakes have been reworked to evoke the Batur’s grille and the front mudguard, tank and fairing gain a ribbed design that reflects the car’s bonnet. At the back, the single-seat tail (a passenger seat can be fitted instead if you prefer) is shaped to match the Batur’s rear end design.
Most of those new parts – the mudguards, headlight cover, engine cover, radiator shrouds, exhaust cover, side panels and tail – are made in carbon fibre, and the rider’s seat is trimmed in black Alcantara, again taking inspiration from Bentley, with red elements that have the same texture as the Batur’s seats.
But what, I hear you ask, should I do if my Bentley isn’t finished in Scarab Green? How do I get a Diavel to match? Never fear, Ducati has your expensively-clothed back with the even more limited run of 50 Diavel for Bentley Mulliner models. The ‘Mulliner’ bit is a reference to the famous coach builder, H.J. Mulliner, which was absorbed into Rolls Royce, then Bentley’s owner, in 1959. These days, Mulliner is Bentley’s in-house bespoke division, and anything wearing that badge is in an even higher echelon than a normal, mass-made Bentley.
Get your name down for the Ducati Diavel for Bentley Mulliner and you’ll be able to configure the bike’s colour to match your car – only existing Bentley customers are eligible to buy the Mulliner version – as well as picking out the colour for the seat, the brake calipers, the carbon parts and the wheels.
Whether you buy the Mulliner version or the standard Diavel for Bentley, you’ll get the same 1158cc, 168hp V4 engine that’s found in the standard, £23,595 Ducati Diavel V4, which also lends its chassis and suspension to the Bentley models. So how much more does the carbon fibre, the special paint, restyled bodywork, wheels and seat add to that tag. £5000? £10,000? No, you’re miles off. The 500 normal Ducati Diavel for Bentley models will set you back £58,000. That’s £34,405 more than the standard Diavel V4. And those 50 more exclusive Ducati Diavel for Bentley Mulliner models will be £13,000 more expensive still, with a list price of £71,000.
Customers will also get a certificate of authenticity and a tailored cover for their bikes, and of course there’s an engraved plaque on the bike with the model name and each example’s unique production number. When the ignition is turned on, both the dashboard and the LED matrix of that remarkable rear light cluster will perform a special, Diavel for Bentley animation. And as if to acknowledge the fact that many of these bikes will be bought as collectors’ items rather than transport, each one comes in what Ducati describes as an ‘exclusive, personalised wooden case.’
If you do choose to unpack and use your Diavel for Bentley, you’ll be able to dress to match it with a limited-edition jet helmet and technical jacket that Ducati is offering to match the bikes.
If the Diavel for Bentley proves as successful as the Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini, don’t be surprised if we see more machines like this in the future. After all, the VW Group that owns Ducati has a huge array of brands it can choose to use for collaborations. Porsche, for instance? Audi? It might be a while before we see a Ducati for Skoda, though.
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