Iconic scooter manufacturer Vespa has announced that the ‘946’, first seen at EICMA in 2011, will be available in Australia for a limited time.
The “Vespa 946” attracted so much attention when unveiled at the Milan Motorshow in 2011 as a concept model that Piaggio announced in 2012 they would proceed with a limited ‘one off’ 946 production run.
Piaggio now confirm production will commence toward the end of 2013 with countries offered one chance to place bike orders. Piaggio will commission a production line in its Italian factory to build the orders. On completion the line will be decommissioned and the 946 will no longer be built. For the Australian market the 946 will have the newly developed and more powerful 150cc engine and will be available in March 2014.
The amazing 946 continues Piaggios devotion to the original Vespa concept, acknowledging styling from the first MP6 Vespa prototype and taking the 946 name from the abbreviated first year of Vespa production, 1946. The model however is a totally new ground up design taking the essence of the Vespa design into a technologically advanced future. Vespa Australia Sales Manager Gavan Moody says ‘the 946 will be a pivotal model in the brands history providing a window into the future of the iconic brand while paying respect to its very origins’ further adding, ‘The very limited, hand built production run means the 946 will be a stunning and highly collectable classic’ also noting ‘the interest in this model is unprecedented with numerous dealers already holding deposits.”
Like all Vespas the technically distinctive element is the body, a single steel component providing the support function for the engine and transmission. The 946 however is a totally new and a decisive break from the highly successful shapes of the current LX and GT models. For the 946 components of alloy are incorporated into the panel, trim and fitting design.
The new design sees the rear shock absorber, for the first time on Vespa, horizontally mounted inside the body through a pivot system to highlight the clean rear line of the 946. The front retains the originality of the single sided swing arm design, another feature synonymous of every Vespa. The front wheel fender, in aluminium, covers with elegance the 12 inch split rim wheel, with the same size and design on the rear. The braking system, in search of maximum safety is front and rear discs and comes with ABS standard. Another first for Vespa is the inclusion of the Piaggio developed ASR traction control.
The saddle, mounted on a machined and hinged aluminium support, is an extraordinary design element, gracefully complimenting the overall design of the Vespa 946, yet highly functional. The lights, full LED, are another distinctive element of the Vespa 946.
Power comes from the all new single cylinder 150 cc 4 stroke, 3 valve, air cooled engine with electronic injection and represents the Piaggio Group’s state of the art technology in scooter engines. The use of roller bearings reduces the noise and internal friction while providing excellent mechanical efficiency.
Service intervals scheduled at 10,000 km significantly reducing maintenance cost.
Black and white colours have been confirmed with one further colour yet to be announced
The 946 comes with two years unlimited warranty and will be available from authorised Piaggio Vespa dealers.
Manufacturers list price (MLP) will be $11,990 plus on roads. ($12,990 ride away)