Vespa has only recently launched in India and with just one model, the LX125 - which is why we're very excited about the new scooter they've displayed at the ongoing EICMA motorcycle show in Milan. It is also a 125cc scooter, and it is called the 946.
The 946 has design cues from a 1946 prototype called the Mp6, and it shows - the body is streamlined yet gloriously retro in the way only World War era aerodynamicists would have imagined. It looks especially fetching from the rear three-quarters, with that upturned seat base. It's also a clue to the '946' moniker, which draws inspiration from a 1946 machine.
It isn't all show, however, with the all-new 125cc engine being air-cooled but fuel injected. The engine was designed in the company's Pontedera plant in Italy and makes 11.7bhp and 10.3Nm, which Vespa says is a 7.1 per cent increase in power and 10.3 per cent increase in torque compared to earlier engines.The scooter also gets traction control, present for the first time on a Vespa. Among other high-end features are disc brakes at both ends, ABS, an LED headlamp and four-position adjustable preload for the rear shock.
It may be only 125cc, but with features like that we're sure the price will give many more premium machines a scare, so we don't expect it to launch in the Indian marketplace. However, we wouldn't say no to a few examples being imported just as a halo model - we'll have ours in black, please.