• Oct 15th 2009 at 8:59AM
  • 24
Ducati 1098R - Click above for high-res image gallery

Rumors of a possible motorcycle brand for Volkswagen aren't anything new. It's a well-known fact that Ferdinand Piëch, Chairman of Volkswagen's Board, wishes that the German automaker had purchased Ducati back in 1985 when the Italian bike manufacturer was in dire financial shape.

As recently as last year, Piëch – himself a Ducati rider even at age 72 – commented that Volkswagen could still purchase an unnamed motorcycle manufacturer if the conditions were right. Strike up the rumormill again, boys and girls. The Italian motoring press is reportedly signaling that Volkswagen is making renewed overtures toward Ducati, which, like pretty much all other motorcycle manufacturers these days, is seeing sales and profits take a dive due to the sorry state of the global economy.

Just a few weeks back at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Piëch indicated that the Volkswagen Group was looking to expand, and some took that to mean it would procure a sizable stake in Suziki, another long-rumored target of the German automaker. KTM, maker of the bonkers X-Bow roadster, has also been bandied about as a potential partner. So, is there any truth to the two-wheeled VW rumors? We'll see how it all pans out soon enough, but we're not exactly holding our breath.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      There is nothing wrong with this. If anything, VW's acquisition of Lamborghini, Bugatti, Bentley, et al, and the fact that those brands have not been diluted or tainted by VW's ownership should be a reassurance to fans of Ducati that if this purchase ever happens, it won't kill the soul of the brand.

      But we might see a desmodromic Rabbit engine down the road...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ahh. The Germans are smarter now then in the 40's. Just buy the world instead of taking it by force. All it took was some great products people love.

      • 5 Years Ago
      They can't do that! They would have to make the Veyron quicker to stay the "halo" performance vehicle in the VW group. 1188R and Desmosedieci would be the quickest vehicles in the group :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      VW seems to think you can never have enough brands. At least with Ducati they are getting a great brand.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Im not sure why there is all this animosity toward the idea of VW buying ducati. Being an avid rider and having owned and enjoyed everything from buell firebolt, R1’s a 998 and now a 1098s.
        I cant think of any reason ducati would not benefit from something like this. Lower manufacturing costs and endless recourses for R&D to continue one of the greatest racing programs in motor sports.
        Really It could bring the reliability up to the standards of the big four (though the new bikes are much better) and I do my own valve adjustments.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ... didn't they get a great brand with bentley and lamborghini?

        All these comments are getting entertaining. oh noez, they've always been Italian, they should never be owned by anyone else. Come on guys, it's 2009, if a company is teetering, it'll be bought up, and as we've seen with Bentley and Lamborghini, made stronger. last I checked, Ducati's doing alright, so I doubt VW would be able to snag them. If you like your nostalgia, put your check book where your heart is, it’s that simple.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If VW is looking for another crappy brand to bolster their ranks, they should just go and buy off Ssangyong. Just leave Ducati alone please.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope VW does not buy Ducati, not even a percentage of them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I wish I could buy a Ducati. More so than a Volkswagen.
      • 5 Years Ago
      MV Agusta is for sale...
      • 5 Years Ago
      there is a historic background that Volkswagen wants to buy a bike company...
      DKW (one of the companys that formed Auto Union > Audi) was from 1928 for many years the worlds largest motorbike producer

      never heard someone claiming that Lamborghini lost it´s soul since VW turned that italian bankrup theater into a seriour brand producing awsome cars in numbers and earing money...

      There is a huge different between GM and VW... everything GM touched went down...
        • 5 Years Ago
        that's true , the brands owned by VW keep their identity and do well. Bentley is still British and Lambo is still Italian and that's how they should be. VW will probably buy a stake in a larger motorcycle brand, but even if they buy Ducati, the bikes will still be Italian.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i can only say VW deserves it, they worked hard.

      the golf mki1 wasn't a luxury vihicle, but it sold very wel.
      you could see real powerfull and very simple styled vw's but yet have an executive look in germany.
      some with porsche rims, (bi)turbo, some styled them with 12,13,14 inch rims with low profile tires, some removed all striping.the almighty 'remus' exchaust(i owned one myself).

      the vw Satana avaiable with 5cyl, not luxurioury again. but it sold pretty much everywhere.

      the polo mkI was ugly, yet fun the drive around and also had it's own tuning comunity.

      all of these had the same ugly thin fragile looking wiper/direction/light handles and cheap feeling switches. audi's polo clone and the 80 aswel

      golf MKII was a smash hit.
      nearly every wannabee ganster kid drove a gti.
      the interior was pretty cheap and the switches made plastic noises.
      it probaly was or still is the most tuned car ever.
      a very fast car with recaro interior, anyone?
      this car was called the porsche for the worker class.
      my mom got rid of hers a few months back, 1400cc carburator and was still without any rust or sqeeking noises and T.U.V. proof.

      the golf mkIII was a huge hit also.
      pretty much the first golf with a decent interior, the well known wiper/direction indicator handles, the design you find on every current vw, audi, skoda, seat.
      seller again!!!

      the birth of the VR6.
      innovative yet simple.

      than the world got hit by a meteoroid, the mkIV got loose.
      probaly the coolest car ever designed, it aged a litle, but i still look @ it.
      me and probally every driving school in the netherlands owned one.
      the first car i bought from a brand dealer.
      slick and sharp bodywork all around, a super dashboard + it's lighting effect, the cool blue.
      1200 kg tdi and it drove like light feeted atleet, perfect.
      wel built, i was amazed when i saw how the mounted the shock on the rear axle.

      i have never heard anyone says, it's a bad car, i wouldn't buy one, but here and some other places.
      i would choose vw above everythng else, sporty and biznis in one.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Build the GX3 otherwise No Ducati for you!
      • 5 Years Ago
      no, no, no. Ducati is a small volume, high performance brand, like Ferrari.
      They should go for Guzzi, which makes great bikes, but doesn't really have the money to expand.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why not just revive NSU? They made bikes well before VW took them over.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Would be ultra nice to see a VW bike! but.... Mr. Piech leave Ducati where it is.... thanks!!! a Brand like Ducati beside performance is aboutheritage. Ducati should remain italian, like Ferrari.... this is an axiom! so Mr. Marchionne do something hehe go buy Italian instead of buying.... you know.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly. Another Italian icon going into the hands of VW? No thanks. Keep the soul. Keep it in Italian hands. Serg, are you listening?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yep, Ducati should stay Italian. Just like they were when they were owned by Texas Pacific Group.
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