Ah, it looks like the four rings has serious aspirations to go the two-wheeled path – reports indicate that Audi has been given the first rights to buy Italian superbike manufacturer Ducati, this despite the latter’s recent cooperation deal struck with Mercedes-Benz’ AMG unit.
A deal has apparently been struck that gives Audi until the middle of next month to finalise the purchase, with the going price reportedly in the region of 250 to 300 million euros, though some reports indicate that the sum may be lower, towards the 100 million mark.
The move for Ducati, which is on the market, is part of VW chairman Ferdinand Piech’s dream of going the bike path in what’s called Project Eagle. The reports add that the original plan called for a revival of the German brand Horex, which made bikes in the 1930s. The lack of clout with the name, however, means that Ducati is a far finer prospect to contemplate, even if it is encumbered by debt.
Audi isn’t the only company which has taken a fancy to the Italian – Mahindra and Hero from India, as well as Daimler and VW are also potential suitors. Ingolstadt, however, has the exclusivity deal in place, so it’s the front runner in the race to get the bride.