Piaggio surprised many at last year’s EICMA show with its Vespa Quarantasei concept, blending the company’s iconic styling with a futuristic new look. Judging by the feedback we’ve seen in our coverage of the Quarantasei – since renamed the Vespa 946 – scooter fans have been eagerly awaiting news of the final production version of the new Vespa.
Nearly a year later, the final production version of the Vespa 946 has been revealed, just days ahead of the 2012 EICMA show. The production version does not stray too far from the original concept. The mirrors and turn signals are new, of course, and Piaggio has slightly tweaked the exhaust heat shield while the seat mount looks like it’s been reinforced without changing the hanging cantilevered design.
Beyond these minor practical changes, the 946 keeps the concept’s styling (pictured below), which itself was inspired by the original 1946 Vespa MP6 prototype. As with the concept model, the production version uses an all-aluminum body, breaking away from Vespa’s traditional use of steel while helping make the scooter lighter and therefore more fuel efficient.
The engine is Piaggio’s three-valve air-cooled 125cc Single which has also found its way in other 125cc 2013 Vespa scooters. Piaggio claims an output of 11.7 hp at 8250 rpm and 7.6 ft-lb. at 7000 rpm from the engine. Piaggio also claims the new three-valve engine offers a 30% improvement in fuel economy over previous models while service intervals for the engine are now every 10,000 km (6,213 miles).
Back in March, Piaggio announced it would bring the Vespa 946 to North America. We’ve heard Piaggio make promises like that, yet we’re still waiting for other promised models such as the Aprilia RS4 125. But with Piaggio opening a new design center in California, we have high hopes for the Vespa 946 for the U.S. market.
Keep checking Motorcycle.com for more updates on the Vespa 946 as well as other news from the 2012 EICMA show.