Image taken from the cover of the April 2016 issue, no. 7, of “Scooters & Style Magazine”, France.
The Vespa truly is a phenomenon, not just a successful industrial product that has achieved worldwide popularity. For decades, it has also been a protagonist in lifestyle, mobility, design, communication and cinema (not to mention songs, comics, TV commercials): more than a scooter, it is an acknowledged style icon that stands for a whole world of values geared to freedom, travel, fashion, creativity, Italian chic. In the last 70 years (Piaggio filed the patent for the scooter on 23 April 1946) and with more than 18 million scooters on the world's roads, the Vespa has put the world into “a new gear”, uniting young people from many different cultures.
The first truly global mobility milestone, the Vespa is a trait d’union among the generations that interacts with socially diverse environments, generating a variety of cultural trends in lifestyles, music, among young people. It has accompanied people and countries as they have grown and developed, ever since travel first meant emancipation and then became a universal right. Today the Vespa continues to invite people to travel, to explore, to communicate.
As it celebrates this important birthday, the Vespa is experiencing one of the most successful periods in its long life. Since 2004, when 58,000 scooters were produced, the Vespa brand has experienced remarkable growth. Production reached 100,000 in 2006, and almost 170,000 in 2015. In the space of ten years, Vespa production has tripled, with one and a half million new scooters starting out on the world's roads. Today more than ever, Vespa is a global brand, a true citizen of the world, produced in three different factories: Pontedera (in Tuscany, Italy), where the Vespa has been manufactured continuously since 1946 and shipped to Europe and Western markets including the Americas; Vinh Phuc, Vietnam, for the local market and the Far East; and India, in the state-of-the-art Baramati facility, which produces Vespa scooters for the Indian market.
THE VESPA TODAY: AN ADVANCED RANGE. Over the years, the Vespa has always stood for cutting-edge technology. With its highly advanced load-bearing frame built entirely in steel, the Vespa was a watershed in personal mobility. Today’s Vespa scooters, featuring latest-generation engines and technical support solutions, are a stylistic synthesis of an evolution that has made the Vespa design an immortal icon of Italian chic all over the world.
Vespa Primavera. Young, innovative, technologically advanced, agile and dynamic, a friend of the environment, the Vespa Primavera (in 50, 125 and 150cc displacements) is totally of its time, with all the freshness and joie de vivre that distinguish a model that is a legend in the Vespa family tree. Available with state-of-the-art 50, 125 and 150cc engines, the Vespa Primavera also features ABS braking.
The Vespa Sprint carries on the tradition of vitality and youthfulness. This scooter is an evolution of the Vespa Primavera project for youngsters of all ages, enhancing the sporty characteristics that its legendary name evokes. A small, lightweight all-steel body that is comfortable and protective, the Vespa Sprint is distinguished by its youthful lines and robust rectangular headlamp. Its large 12” wheels feature impressive aluminium alloy rims. The Sprint deploys the same engines as the Vespa Primavera and, with the emphasis on safety, comes with ABS braking.
The Vespa GTS, known as the "Vespone" because of its large body, is the fastest, sportiest and most entertaining scooter in the Vespa range, perfect for city traffic thanks to its manageability and the performance of its 4-stroke liquid-cooled 125 and 300cc engines, but also for riding out into the countryside, solo or two-up. The new GTS range consisting of the Vespa GTS, GTS Super, GTS SuperSport and Touring, offers refined new style details, an enhanced modern set of standard features, including ABS braking and ASR traction control, a Piaggio Group technology exclusive, which helps make the Vespa GTS safer and fun to ride in all conditions.
Vespa 946 Emporio Armani. In 2015 – the 40th anniversary of the Giorgio Armani company and 130th anniversary of the Piaggio Group – Giorgio Armani designed the new version of the Vespa 946, the exclusive model whose name refers to the original year of the scooter that has become a world-famous icon and whose lines are a modern interpretation of the original Vespa style.
The Vespa 946 Emporio Armani is a synonym not only for style but also for technology: the aluminium engine blocks and the electronic riding management system (including communication with latest-generation internet devices) combine with an innovative four-stroke injection engine designed to minimise fuel consumption and emissions. The dual disk brake, twin-channel ABS braking system and large 12” wheels ensure maximum road safety.
Vespa PX. Inimitable style, engines that comply with the most stringent anti-emissions regulations and a classic four-speed gear change make the Vespa PX unique and unmistakable. The aesthetic of its essential, minimalist lines, its functionality and ease of use, the iconic kick-starter, the legendary robustness of the steel body, the reliability of a simple, indestructible engine, the (habit-forming) possibility to mount a spare wheel: launched in 1977, the Vespa PX still retains all the traditional strengths that have ensured its success for almost forty years.
Vespa Settantesimo. In 2016, a limited edition marks the first 70 years of a universal legend. The celebration Vespa is a luxury model that enhances the inimitable elegance that has made it the world’s most famous scooter. To celebrate a legend that has accompanied entire populations and generations, the youthful and dynamic Vespa Primavera, the powerful large-frame Vespa GTS, and the timeless Vespa PX form an edition with an exclusive chromatic look based on two new colours schemes: Azzurro 70 blue and Grigio 70 grey, special colour schemes that draw on the best Vespa tradition and make their debut for this unique occasion. Both colour schemes enhance and highlight the charm of the Vespa design, distilling seven decades of stylistic evolution.
The Vespa Settantesimo range is also made truly special by a series of customised features, including a brand new and elegant dark brown saddle, finished with contrasting beige piping and a thermobonded Vespa Settantesimo logo, placed at the height of the passenger seat. The livery for all the Vespa Settantesimo models also features special graphics on the leg shield back plate, while the wheels have a “dark” finish thanks to a specific, non-standard paint. Completing the fittings, a classic chrome-plated rear luggage rack (a Vespa icon) holds an elegant bag, colour coded to match the saddle and stamped with the seventieth anniversary logo.
(EPISODE ONE, TO BE CONTINUED).