About a month ago, we brought you news that Aprilia is working on a brand-new sub-200cc scooter for the Indian market. At the time, Diego Graffi, managing director and CEO Piaggio India Ltd told us, “It is going to be a big jump from what we currently see in the Indian market and will also preview what could come in the market afterwards. We are developing the scooter right now and it is going to be a fully customised Indian development. Whatever we develop in India in collaboration with the R&D centre located in Italy, is specifically meant for the Indian market."
Those words seem quite fitting because we now have word that Piaggio intends to use this newly developed motor in the Vespa platform as well, after the launch of the Aprilia product. So far, Aprilia scooters have used completely different chassis to their Vespa cousins in India, but they have shared the same powertrain. Graffi tells us that the upcoming Vespa will see a few differences in its motor, but the basic architecture will be the same. We also expect to see this bigger Vespa use a similar version of the steel monocoque frame seen in the current 125 and 150 Vespas.
Not much else is clear about the engine at the moment except for the fact that it will be ‘between 150 and 200cc’. If Piaggio doesn’t go all the way upto 200cc, we could see something at around 180cc. This displacement will not just be good step above the 150s, but it also harks back to iconic models like the Vespa 180 Super Sport and Vespa 180 Rally from the 1960s.
There are a few safe assumptions we can make about this engine. For starters, it will be fuel injected, as Piaggio is adopting this technology for the entire range in the switch to BS6. It will also probably remain air-cooled to keep costs down and we might continue to see Piaggio’s three-valve setup, which remains common on all their two-wheeler engines.
The new sub-200cc Aprilia scooter is expected to be out sometime next year and that product will come before the Vespa. It is therefore unlikely that we’ll see this bigger Vespa until at least the second half of 2020, if not in early 2021.
Piaggio to launch fuel-injected Vespa with LED headlamp by year end