Ducati unveils Superquadro Mono: World’s most powerful single-cylinder engine
Ducati has made a return to producing single-cylinder road engines with the launch of the Superquadro Mono. This 659cc unit offers a remarkable 76.4bhp, which increases to 83.3bhp with the Termignoni racing exhaust. With a maximum rotation speed of 10,250rpm, the Superquadro Mono claims performance levels never before seen in a single-cylinder road engine.
The Superquadro Mono is derived from the Panigale 1299's twin-cylinder engine, inheriting its 116mm bore piston, combustion chamber, titanium intake, steel exhaust valves, and Desmodromic system. The name "Superquadro" is inspired by the extreme bore-to-stroke ratio, which allows for high rotation speeds typical of racing engines, with a record ratio of 1.86 thanks to a very short stroke of 62.4mm. The most notable feature of the Superquadro Mono is its impressive maintenance intervals, with valve checks and adjustments (if required) only every 30,000km, making it a practical and user-friendly choice for enthusiasts. The oil change interval is also quite good at 15,000km. The piston pin features a Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) surface coating, which is also used in the Panigale V4 R. The compression ratio is an impressive 13.1:1. The Desmodromic system, known from Ducati's MotoGP bikes, plays a crucial role in achieving high performance, as it overcomes the limitations imposed by valve springs, enabling extreme valve lift laws. Fuel delivery is controlled by a single oval-section throttle body with an equivalent diameter of 62mm, featuring an under-throttle injector managed by a ride-by-wire system offering three different power modes (High, Medium, Low) for versatile riding experiences.
Performance-wise, the Superquadro Mono boasts a maximum power output of 76.4bhp at 9,750rpm, with a peak torque of 63Nm at 8,000rpm. In the racing configuration with the Termignoni exhaust, it reaches an equally impressive 83.3bhp at 9,500rpm. Notably, it complies with the Euro 5 homologation standards. The transmission features a six-speed gearbox and the option for Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) Up & Down. The clutch is in an oil bath with a progressive interlocking hydraulic control for easy and intuitive operation.
The engine's design emphasises both performance and lightness, with die-cast engine crankcases incorporating an aluminium water jacket around the cylinder barrel for weight reduction and improved cooling. Key components like the clutch, alternator, and head covers are made from magnesium alloy for reduced weight and enhanced mechanical resistance. Balancing is achieved through two balancing countershafts, resulting in what Ducati claims will be a remarkably smooth engine despite its high-speed capabilities. The Superquadro Mono relies on two lobe pumps for efficient lubrication and oil recovery, similar to racing engines.
Ducati's return to single-cylinder engines, three decades after the Supermono 550, gives us a look at the capabilities of a single-cylinder engine. The Superquadro Mono will be featured in Ducati World Premiere 2024 "Live. Play. Ride." on November 2nd, where more details and images of the new bike (likely to be a Hypermotard) will be revealed.