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They weren’t kidding

April 18, 2013
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Vespa 946

Vespa 946 (Piaggio Group image)

Finally. FINALLY, the arrival date and price of the long-awaited, long-drooled-over Vespa 946 have been released.

In a post on Scooterfile, Eric Almendral reports a communication to U.S. dealers is saying the 946 will arrive in November, 2013. (Dealers in Europe will see it in June.)

And the rumors were true—it’s gonna cost TEN GRAND. Well, $9,946 (geddit?), to be exact.

That it will be a big, heavy, slow 150cc scooter will matter not at all to the 946’s likely customers, who will happily drop ten large plus tax, license, setup and negotiable doc fee, and have their new scooter trucked home to take its place among the other garage queens. That it will be the first Vespa to have ABS and ASR traction control will pass unnoticed, as 946s with more than 100 miles on them in ten years’ time will be as numerous as Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster.

Really, the 946 fits rather well with the Vespa marketing plan of late, which is all about making a fashion statement (and not at all about, uh, riding). Piaggio will easily sell as many 946s as it cares to build. Which won’t be too many, so you’d better talk to your local dealer NOW if you want one.

While this is most definitely NOT a replacement for the Vespa LX (as dealers had been told initially), when it debuted as the Quarantasei at EICMA 2011, Piaggio spoke at great length about its role as a design study. The car biz does this all the time: Roll out a concept car or two with certain styling touches, so as to gauge public reaction. Same deal here.

If Piaggio sticks to its traditional 10-year Vespa product cycles, a new GTS and new LX are due shortly. I would be very surprised if the revised models don’t share the 946’s more-angular legshield, small LED headlight, and more wasp-like rump, adapted to the requirement for underseat storage.

Nothing more to see here, folks. Move along. Favicon

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3 Comments
  1. April 18, 2013 9:45 pm

    What a journey it’s been, from basic wheels to fashion statement to “garage queen.” I still prefer the P series.

  2. April 19, 2013 1:19 am

    Orin,
    Here in Europe Piaggio is selling the 946 for €9,000, more or less. They will build exactly the number of orders received. Aparently they are selling well for a piece of design, not a scooter for everyday use. I saw the 946 here in Lisbon 15 days ago and i was impressed but, as you say, it´s a fashion/design statement. Just like a pair of Prada shoes.

    http://respiroscooter.blogspot.pt/2013/04/vespa-946-em-lisboa.html

    Cheers,
    Vasco

  3. April 20, 2013 2:52 pm

    I hope some model remains that I can afford to ride. I like the look, lines and utility of the Vespa GTS I ride. But at some price point it will become more difficult to ride it in the grit and salt of winter and the mud of summer. As those prices rise the Jack Pine Scrambler built by Hammarhead Industries will look more and more reasonable.

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

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