Piaggio launched its Vespa scooter brand at last January’s Indian Auto Expo to much fanfare but sales have fallen short of expectations. The Vespa LX125 launched in Indian showrooms in April as the first new Vespa scooter offered in the country in 13 years, but Piaggio has only sold about 25,000 units. That might seem […]
EICMA 2012: Vespa 946 Unveiled at Milan Show
We got a peak at the new Vespa 946 late last week but Piaggio has now released more pictures and information on the bold new scooter. Presented at the 2012 EICMA Show a year after its original concept was unveiled.
The new Vespa 946 is a mix of both the past and the future. It maintains many of Vespa’s signature features and traces a lineage back to the MP6, the original Vepsa prototype from 1946. The designers at Piaggio’s Pontedera Style Centre merged the classic styling with futuristic elements in the cantilevered seat, sleek curves and the latest technological advancements.
For the first time, Vespa is moving away from its steel body to an aluminum alloy for reduced weight and improved fuel economy. Another first for Vespa is the horizontally-mounted rear shock absorber which also features four adjustable preload positions. Like other new Piaggio-family scooters such as the Aprilia SRV 850 and Piaggio BV350, the Vespa 946 comes equipped with ABS and traction control. Other modern touches include LED lighting and LCD display.
Powering the 946 is Piaggio’s fuel-injected three-valve 125cc air-cooled single cylinder engine which was introduced in 2012 on the LX and S. Low friction components and the three-valve timing system help improve efficiency. According to Piaggio, the engine increases maximum power by 7.1% to 11.4 hp at 8250rpm and torque by 10.3% to 7.9 ft-lb. at 6500 rpm, compared to previous 125cc engines. The fuel economy improvement is even more impressive with Piaggio claiming a 30% increase to 129.4 mpg at a speed of 31 mph. Maintenance intervals were also lengthened to every 10,000 km (6,213 miles).
Piaggio presented the prototype at its North American dealer meeting, saying the Vespa 946 will be imported to these shores. We’re looking forward to seeing that, though the 946 may not arrive until late 2013 or early 2014.
Follow Motorcycle.com for more coverage of the 2012 EICMA Show.