Vespa has built a reputation for classic, retro-styled scooters, trading on its iconic styling. The Quarantasei concept unveiled at EICMA however is a look toward ahead, and possibly the most futuristic looking Vespa ever.
The Quarantasei is named for the number 46, which represents the year Vespa first began producing scooters. (UPDATE: The Piaggio Group has quietly decided to rename the concept scooter the Vespa 946. The new name is much easier to spell and pronounce for non-Italian speakers, making it easier to market – if Piaggio ever decides to bring the 946 to production …)
Designed by the Vespa Pontedera Style Center, the Quarantasei maintains classic Vespa lines established from the original 1945 MP6 prototype, the “Wasp” that became forefather of all Vespas.
The most distinguishable element of the Quarantasei’s design is the aggressive forward lean in the rear, emphasized by the hanging seat and the way the bottom of the frame rises up towards the wasp-like tail.
While the design is purely a concept, a glimpse of possible future models, its powerplant is very real and likely to go into production in upcoming scooters. Piaggio developed a new fuel-injected 125cc four-stroke, three-valve air-cooled engine for the Quarantasei. According to Piaggio, the engine’s three-valve timing optimizes the load motion in the cylinder and the positioning of the spark plug, increasing combustion and helping keep components cool.
Piaggio claims a maximum output of 11.7 hp at 8250 rpm while torque peaks at 7.6 at 7000 rpm. A 150cc version claims peak output of 13.0 hp at 8000 rpm and torque of 9.3 at 6500 rpm.