The Benelli Imperiale will be launched in India in 2019, and will be assembled at Benelli's new manufacturing and assembly facility near Hyderabad. Benelli has now tied up with Hyderabad-based Mahavir Group's Adishwar Auto Ride International (AARI), and like the Leoncino and the TRK adventure tourer, the Imperiale will also be launched as a family of different models with several engine variants, rather than just one single variant. The Benelli Imperiale was unveiled at the 2017 EICMA Motorcycle Show in Milan and will now be launched in India by the middle of 2019. Once launched, the Benelli Imperiale 400 will be a direct competitor to the Royal Enfield Classic series.
"It will be ready next year. We understand the market (in this segment) is very big, but we also understand the weakness of our competitors, and that is the reason we haven't launched it yet. The Imperiale will also be part of a complete family of engines and displacements and versions," Dante Bustos, Chief Marketing Officer, Benelli - Global, told Carandbike in a recent interaction.
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The first Imperiale will be powered by a 373.5 cc, single-cylinder, single overhead cam, fuel-injected engine which will put out around 19 bhp at 5500 rpm and 28 Nm of peak torque at 3500 rpm. The engine will be mated to a five-speed gearbox. The engine will be mounted on a double cradle chassis, with a telescopic front fork and dual shocks at the rear. Both wheels will have disc brakes and dual-channel ABS will be standard. The Imperiale 400 has a kerb weight of 200 kg, and comes with a fuel tank with capacity of 12 litres.
Also Read: Benelli May Manufacture Bikes In India
Benelli is currently doing a feasibility study to set up a R&D facility in India and also consider full-fledged manufacturing of bikes in India. Currently, Benelli has R&D facilities in Italy and China. Established in 1911, Benelli is one of the oldest Italian motorcycle manufacturers, and is now part of Chinese automobile group Qiangjiang. Chinese automotive giant Geely, which also owns the Volvo brand, holds a controlling interest in Qiangjiang. Under the latest collaboration with the Mahavir Group, Benelli has huge plans for India, with plans even to design and manufacture bikes specifically for the Indian market and neighbouring countries.