Volkswagen‘s $1.1 billion bid for Ducati has the automotive world wondering what the automaker would want with a superbike company, but answers are out of reach.
Such situations quickly become a speculative breeding ground for ideas, ranging from a vision of world domination permeating both four- and two-wheel markets, to a more conservative view based on interviews with Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech.
Reviewing past interviews with Piech could shed a little light on the company’s interest, as Automotive News reports. In 2008, Piech spoke to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung about the merits motorcycle engines could provide.
“A 1-liter engine can produce 200 horsepower,” Piech told the paper. “Small engines are also lower from the point of view of fuel consumption. We can learn something here,” he said.
Now, that quote which might have otherwise been forgotten, is resurfacing to fuel speculation that Volkswagen may be eyeing Ducati for its small engine technology.
There’s nothing to suggest the company isn’t interested in producing motorcycles to compete with BMW in a new area, but the notion of a 195-hp, 1,198cc engine like the one found in Ducati’s 1199 Panigale could share valuable tech insight when automakers seem to be hitting every new engine with a shrink ray.