Piaggio made three big announcements yesterday, each with large implications on the scooter market:
This was the surprise, of course, an absolutely retro and luxurious new Ape dubbed the “Calessino.” Appointed with whitewalls, chrome, leather, and tropical wood, with a 422cc 4-stroke 4-speed diesel engine the Ape Calessino is being released in an edition of only 999. It’s safe to assume no one reading this crappy excuse for a scooter blog will ever see one in person outside Monte Carlo, let alone own one, but it re-establishes the dream that someday Piaggio may just surprise us with a loving reproduction of the GS160 with a modern geared engine.
Hybrid Piaggio MP3, X8, and Vespa LX
The only surprise here is that the HyS hybrid engine (more info here and here) is still in the prototype stage. These appear to be more or less the same machines tested in Milan last April, apparently the “news” is that the MP3 has newly been outfitted with the HyS as well. Without getting into details again, the technology is promising: an electrical-assisted gas engine that can be switched to zero-emissions electric power only. We love the idea, now please make them available to consumers!
Vespa S 50 and 125
The Vespa S was announced last fall among several other models. It seemed to have been buried in Piaggio’s priorities at the time, though it got a fantastic reception from the press. Now with the top-priority Piaggio MP3 entrenched in scooterdom worldwide, Vespa is releasing the S in 50cc and 125cc versions. The design is a tribute to the smallframe Vespa, notably the square-headlight Vespa S, and it’s nearly entirely successful visually, no other modern Vespa comes so close to emulating the details, lines and style of the vintage models we all love. The only conceivable complaint (at least on paper) is the displacement, but we’d argue that the owner of such a lovely scooter deserves to be cursed with the speed of its ancestors. Bravo, Piaggio, bring it to America ASAP. While previous press photos showed the S only in white, it will be available in “Dragon red, Shiny black and Montebianco white.” Piaggio will also offer several optional graphics kits (“Flowers,” “Europe,” “Sport”) and Jet-style matched helmets.