The Qianjiang Group, parent company of Benelli, which has owned the Italian brand since 2005, is developing a new V4 engine. The new engine, which has appeared in multiple patent applications published in China recently, reveals a 90-degree v-twin, with displacement expected to be around 1 litre. Once this engine is ready, it could open the possibilities of a future high-performance Benelli model, with a proper high-performance V4 engine.
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So far though, there’s no confirmation on what bike the upcoming engine will be used for. Some of the patent drawings include the QJMotor logo on the cam covers, so it could be used in at least one model of the group’s QJMotor brand. QJMotor already shares its platforms with the line-up under the Benelli brand, so the new V4 engine will likely be used in a Benelli model as well. The Qianjiang Group already has several brands, and has engine platforms ranging from singles, parallel-twins, v-twins, inline triples, inline fours and V4s.
The Benda BD500 Darkflag was showcased at the 2023 Auto Expo in Delhi in January 2023. While there’s no word on an India launch, the BD500 could be introduced in India towards the end of the year.
The group’s other motorcycle brand, Benda already has a small displacement V4, which was showcased in production form at the 2023 Auto Expo in Delhi earlier this year. The Benda Darkflag, as it’s called, is a small displacement cruiser, powered by a 496 cc, V4 engine, a segment-first, and possibly even the world’s smallest V4 engine. That engine makes 52 bhp at 10,000 rpm and 42 Nm of peak torque at 7,500 rpm.
The 496 cc V4 engine of the Benda BD500 Darkflag is possibly the world’s smallest V4 engine.
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The litre-class V4, revealed in the patent applications, will likely be more powerful, and will possibly have a power output close to 200 bhp. The only thing left is for the Qianjiang Group to announce the specs and a new litre-class superbike, possibly a Benelli, or even a Moto Morini or QJMotor model, which will use the new V4 engine.
The 486 cc, V4 engine of the Benda BD500 has modest output, but a 10,000 rpm redline. The litre-class V4 is also expected to be a high-revving unit.
The Qianjiang Group already has a presence in India with Benelli, Moto Morini, Keeway and the QJMotor brands offered on sale in India. If and when the new litre-class V4 is launched in a production model, it may be only a matter of time till it makes its way to India. A made-in-China V4 superbike will be expected to be more affordable than an Italian or German machine. Things are looking interesting, indeed!