Vespa 946 – By Trevor Hedge
Vespa is already ‘The’ scooter icon, however, the Italian manufacturer has reinvented that iconic style with a fantastic marriage of past and present embodied in the new Vespa 946.
First unveiled in Milan two years, Piaggio has honed the prototype further and are now introducing the model a yearly “Fashion Collection” release. The first edition of the 946 is dubbed the ‘Riccordo Italiano’ collection.
Well I am about as far from a fashionista as it can get but after seeing the 946 in the flesh I must admit, I was floored. If I lived in the city I would have placed a deposit on the spot. Especially as the machine will only becoming Down Under in strictly limited numbers and is almost guaranteed collector status in years to come. Significant model introductions or changes have heralded the most collectable models built by the brand with the GS 150, Super Sport 180 and Rally 200 some of the most prized models amongst collectors and with 946 possibly set to become the most significant model in Vespa’s history, this first release looks destined to be the most desirable.
Hand crafted on an assembly line specially reserved for 946 models only the machine is really something special and even the most skilled photographer cannot really do the machine’s beauty justice.
The 946 is something completely new from Vespa and effectively marries styling cues from the 1946 prototype with a dose of modern flair and technology to truly produce something special.
The pressed steel body has over 320 welding points with many of those done by hand. The front guard, rear panels and bars are aluminium.
One of the more modern looking components to the naked eye is the sharply styled saddle which is supported only from the front, like the minimalist of scooters from yesteryear, but offers a broad and flowing expanse.
Technology abounds beneath the skin of the 946 with ABS and traction control adding modern elements of safety while the subtle LED lights, small LCD instrumentation and single-sided front suspension all add some tasteful modern touches to make the 946 truly unique.
Powering the 946 is a new 125cc three-valve engine offering excellent economy with minimal emissions.
This first edition of the 946 will be available in classic black or white colour schemes. The white machine has a striking red saddle while the more subtle black 946 has a dark grey saddle.
Each 946 customer will receive an initial ‘welcome gift’ prior to delivery and all 946 Vespa’s will be supplied with an authentication disc to be fixed to the body confirming the collection year with the VIN etched onto the rear side. The handbook is also authenticated with the VIN and stamped from the factory with an authentication seal.
Now on sale at $11,990 the stylish new trend setting 946 will sell out quickly.