Naza officially opened the largest Ducati Centre in Asia this afternoon. Officiated by Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Mukhriz Tun Mahathir, the 15,000 sq ft Ducati Kuala Lumpur is located next to the Naza Automall in Petaling Jaya, facing the Federal Highway.

The new 4S Ducati Centre consists of a showroom, coffee lounge (by Dome), Ducati Club Lounge, fitness centre, merchandise square, a pre-owned Ducati showroom and an after-sales centre. The latter has eight service bays and a suspension tuning room. Naza describes Ducati KL as a “home away from home” for local Ducatisti and visiting riders.

“Naza has been given the option of becoming the distributor of Ducati bikes in any country where Ducati has yet to appoint a distributor. In other words, Naza will be involved in the total globalisation of Ducati distributorship with the blessing of Ducati Holding,” said Naza Group’s Joint Executive Chairman Datuk Wira SM Faisal SM Nasimuddin.

“The same approach is also being discussed with other international brands that are currently in Naza’s stable,” he added.

At the launch ceremony, Ducati Malaysia also officially unveiled its latest model, the 1199 Panigale. First seen at the 2011 EICMA show, the Panigale is the Italian brand’s flagship supersports bike. Powered by the latest Superquadro L-twin engine, this little red beast has 195 hp (at 10,750 rpm) and 132 Nm of torque made at 9,000 rpm.

Designed on a “blank canvas”, the Panigale is 10 kg lighter and 25 hp more powerful than the model it replaces. Weighing just 164 kg, the 1199’s power to weight ratio is 1.19 hp per kg. Needless to say, performance is devastating. Not one for the amateurs, that’s for sure!

The Panigale is equipped with Ducati Riding Mode, which combines seven “class-leading” tech. They are the latest gen ABS, Ducati Traction Control, Ducati Electronic Suspension, Ducati Quick Shift, the new race-derived Engine Brake Control and Ride-by-Wire. All the trickery is shown on a full colour TFT screen.

The 1199 Panigale is priced between RM160,888 and RM209,999. With limited units due to strong global demand, and Naza’s order book already exceeding 20 names, it’s already a winner at launch.

Ducati is gaining ground in Malaysia for sure. Naza shifted 300 units in the first quarter, of which 70% was contributed by the Monster 795. Malaysia is currently the second largest market in Asia for the Italian marque, which has just gone under German ownership. Yes, VW’s Audi unit is acquiring Ducati, read the full story here.