While visiting Mandello del Lario for Moto Guzzi’s 90th birthday celebration this weekend, a brand representative let slip news that a new model range is set for unveiling later this year. Combining Guzzi’s largest (current) engine and smallest frame, the V12 will adopt the looks of the V7 classics, but ditch the 48bhp, 744cc v-twin in favor of the new 1,151cc, eight-valve motor from the Griso. That could potentially more than double the V7’s power; the Griso makes 110bhp and 75lb/ft of torque.
The V12 range is a part of Piaggio’s revitalization plans for the storied Guzzi brand. Speaking during an impromptu sauna session on the shores of Lake Como, Piaggio Group chairman, Roberto Colaninno, stated Guzzi plans to release a new model every year into the foreseeable future. Piaggio intends to treble Guzzi’s volume over the next couple of years, from its current level of roughly 4,200 annual sales globally. A new production line, being built on a newly-empty lot on the grounds of the existing factory, will help make that goal a reality.
Next year, that new model will be the all-new, 1,400cc Moto Guzzi California, which was shown to dealers in prototype form in January. Miguel Galuzzi, Piaggio Group’s VP of design, tells us that the California will enter production late in 2012. The V12? That could be unveiled this fall.
The above image was an unidentified frame from a promotional video aired in the sauna and intended to promote Moto Guzzi’s future model plans. It appears to show the 8V motor under a V7-style tank. That motor is identified by its valve cover and the presence of an oil-cooler.
New in 2009, the 8V v-twin is a substantial improvement on Guzzi engines of old. Not only is power increased from 88bhp to 110bhp and torque from 65 to 75lb/ft, but noise, vibration and harshness are vastly reduced. Fire up the new engine and you hear a powerful exhaust note, not mechanical clatter. It does that without losing Guzzi's traditional character, just now your hands won't go numb from vibration.
Swapping the mid-size 90-degree twin into the V7 won’t simply be a matter of bolting in the larger motor though. It’s our understanding that the current frame and components would be unable to handle the additional performance. Whether this means an all-new frame or simply bracing is currently unclear, but we do expect, or at least hope, to see beefier shocks, forks and a switch to dual front brake discs. Like the V7 range, which includes the Classic, Cafe Classic, Racer and soon the Scrambler, the V12 should encompass more than a single model.