We’ve been asked several times this week why we haven’t fallen all over ourselves to join the media bandwagon hyping Piaggio’s revolutionary MP3 plug-in hybrid, due to the U.S. in 2010. Here’s why:
2strokebuzz first posted about the Hybrid MP3 three years ago when they started testing it in Milan, again when they officially announced it a week later, again in July 2007, when they re-announced it, again in November 2007 when PiaggioUSA promised it to the U.S. in late 2008, again in late 2008 when Jay Leno promised it in late 2009,, and several times in between. So PiaggioUSA very well may manage to get their $10,000 beast to the U.S. in 2010, but we’ll hype it then. Clearly, PiaggioUSA put a lot of effort getting their name in the news over the last week or so, but that doesn’t mean they have anything new to say. Aside from offering a new date two years after the original target, and adding the ultra-trendy phrase “plug-in” before “hybrid” (the original 2006 press release stated it could be plugged in to charge) there’s really nothing to write about. The real news is that they had working prototypes on the streets of Milan three years ago, and still don’t have the HyS engine on the market yet.
It’s also worth pointing out that the arguably-greener Vectrix is sold at about the same price by an American company and has been available for a couple years, and, sadly, few consumers are interested in it. Maybe people are holding out for a prehensile wheel and Italy’s legendary electrical expertise. Early comps of Vectrix’s proposed 3-wheeler featured a Piaggio front suspension, but the prototype on display at DealerExpo this year had a new Vectrix-designed front end, will it beat the hybrid MP3 to market?