Audi’s recent purchase of Ducati will not change the Italian bike maker’s plans to sell the $26,495 Diavel AMG.
Questions about the status of the special-edition 1198cc V-Twin power-cruiser were raised earlier this year when AMG’s parent company, Mercedes-Benz, released the following statement: “Since the end of 2010, a successful marketing cooperation has existed between AMG and Ducati. The company takeover by a rival car manufacturer has understandably resulted in the end of any further collaboration. The takeover of Ducati was never our aim—our focus lies clearly in developing and producing premium performance cars, and we will be concentrating all our energy on this.”
I asked Christian Bokich, department manager, product & technology communications at Mercedes-Benz USA, if the aforementioned statement meant the Diavel AMG will not be produced. “Correct,” he replied.
But Ducati says otherwise. “The Diavel AMG has been produced,” confirmed Tim Collins, public-relations manager at Ducati North America, “and we will start deliveries in mid-to-late June.”
The Diavel AMG was originally intended to celebrate Ducati’s partnership in MotoGP with AMG. Forged five-spoke wheels, an all-new exhaust system and a horizontally ribbed seat upholstered in suede-like Alcantara set this model apart from the standard machine. Furthermore, the gas tank, trellis-style frame and passenger-seat cover are painted AMG Diamond White, which contrasts with the aluminum-trimmed carbon-fiber air intakes. Each bike will be numbered, with an engine plate carrying the signature of the factory worker who timed the Desmodromic valvetrain.
The $19,995 Diavel Carbon was voted Best Cruiser of 2011 in Cycle World’s annual Ten Best balloting. The standard Diavel retails for $17,495.