The link redirects to Wheego.net, which features absolutely no info on the scooter. Wheego is an electric car company that like most electric car companies seems to have already hyped their vehicles profusely, then missed a few self-imposed deadlines. Wheego is apparently backed by EarthLink founder (and ex-Mobil-exec) Mike McQuary, whom I will never forgive for the hour-plus I spent on the phone cancelling my EarthLink account, but my distrust of this endeavor goes beyond that experience.
The ad brashly states “Brilliance or Sacrilege? We welcome input from the scooter community.” Well, here it is (and I’m sure you’ll find more in the comments):
- Don’t overpromise and underdeliver, which was the point of my rant yesterday. If you show a picture of a vintage Lambretta GP with a Photoshopped Wheego logo on the horncast, the final product better look just like that, or better. Don’t shit on Nuccio Bertone‘s grave.
- If you’re working with Scooters India Limited, that’s great, say so. They’re not Innocenti, but scooterists would love to see them back to full-scale retro Lambretta biz. If not, you better be sure you’re going to be able to score both the name and the bodywork before using a phrase like “Coming Soon.” If you haven’t already staggered through the maddening world of international Lambretta name rights and don’t already have the body-panel presses, nothing is “Coming Soon.”
- Back to the name “Lambretta:” are you even aware there’s already a company selling rebadged Adlys under that name here? And that the licensing deals worldwide are so complicated that some supposed licenseholders later learned they bought rights from people that didn’t hold them? And that there have been several failed attempts by other scooter manufacturers to acquire the name? Again, if you’re not working with SIL, we’ve got very little faith of this ever happening, and if you are, it’s only marginally more promising.
- 200GP? 200 what? Volts? unless the electric motor is powering a 200cc cylinder, why would you call it a 200?
- Do you have any idea how much a metal Lambretta GP frame weighs? Lambretta’s tube frame with mounted bodywork make it a good platform for modern engines, but the weight of the bodywork plus the batteries seems problematic for a proportionally-sized electric motor. And if you’re using plastic panels, don’t show a vintage Lambretta in the photo.
- That clutch lever and shifting mechanism on the left grip are going to need to be redesigned.
- As far as your “Whip” electric car, for all the glowing hype you’ve built in the U.S. auto press, it sure looks like a Shuanghuan Automobile e-Noble, a rebadged Chinese electric Smart FourTwo knockoff, and I’m guessing both Smart’s US legal department and China’s ineptitude are slowing you down. If this scooter is also something a Chinese manufacturer pitched to you, just walk away now.
Look, It’s not sacrilege you need to worry about, it’s reality. If you can produce a thoroughly-vintage-looking DOT/EPA legal Lambretta with metal bodywork and an electric engine that can actually propel it over 45mph, people are going to be thrilled, even if it costs ten grand. But forgive us for being cynical- you’re showing us a stock photo of a vintage bike and promising a product “soon!” and it’s very likely just a figment of your imagination. Unlike many scooter ventures, it sounds like you’ve got some real money behind the idea, and that’s great, but do some more homework, pretend this ad never happened, and when it gets closer to reality, get back to us.
(Thanks to Matt for the heads-up and the photo of the ad)