Just how cool can a 125cc scooter be? Very, if it’s the Vespa 946, which is now being shown at the EICMA in Milan. Really, much as this whole ‘Italian style’ thing is such a cliché, the Vespa 946 really is the epitome of Italian design flair, it’s a thing of absolute beauty. The 946 takes its design cues from the mid-1940s Vespa MP6 prototype, a machine that one Corradino D’Ascanio designed when Enrico Piaggio asked him to come up with a two-wheeler that was simple and tough, yet elegant. Lo and behold, the Vespa scooter was born!
With its steel/aluminium monocoque construction, 12-inch wheels, single-sided front and rear suspension, disc brakes (with ABS), full LED lights, LCD instrumentation, curvy bodywork and an all-new one-piece saddle that’s mounted on a hinged cast aluminium support, the Vespa 946 is a eclectic mix of the retro and the futuristic. It even has traction control, which we think is just plain silly, but what the heck, that’s Italian exuberance for you.
The Vespa 946 is powered by a 946cc twin-turbo three-cylinder engine that produces 94.6bhp. No, sorry, that came out all wrong. It’s actually a fuel-injected 3-valve 125cc four-stroke air-cooled engine that’s low on noise and emissions and is very fuel efficient – Piaggio claim that it’s capable of delivering a mileage figure of up to 55km/l. With an output of 11bhp and 11Nm of torque, the 946 won’t have you breaking too many speed limits. But, really, 11bhp is probably sufficient in bumper-to-bumper city traffic, where, sometimes, look cool is all you want to do.