New Vespa Primavera debuts at EICMA 2013, Indian unveil at the Expo
This is the new Vespa Primavera which made its debut at the 2013 EICMA show in Milan. This is an all-new scooter that is expected to replace the LX line of scooters. It shares the base powertrain with the LX series albeit with updates but uses sharp new styling and a reworked frame to create a distinctly more stylish, more modern package.
The Primavera is an all-new scooter that is expected to replace the LX line of scooters
The first Primavera showed up in 1968. According to Vespa it was the year where "from the universities of California to the squares of Paris, a new social group - that of young people - demanded a place in the front row of a fast-changing society." The original Primavera made its debut in that "tumult of ideas and fervour... the heroine of an unforgettable season."
We are guessing that's a long and non-specific way of saying that the new Primavera is meant to be fresh and youthful in nature without losing any of the sacred touch with its past that has served Vespa so well so far. Far clearer than the conceptual background is the influence of the 946 on the lines of the Primavera, in fact, at the show stand, the 946s were relegated to a small space on the side of the Vespa booth while a bevy of Vespas accompanied by a bevy of show models took the cordoned-off centre stage.
Far clearer than the conceptual background is the influence of the 946 on the lines of the Primavera
To get serious, the Primavera is all-new. This is a big thing at Vespa because sort of like Porsche, Vespa has preferred to gently evolve with the times rather than make big model changes. In its history, Vespa identifies just two or three such major model changes as the one that the Primavera represents.
Semi-digital instrument console with a blue backlighting looks real cool
To begin with the styling, the Primavera clearly drawns upon the sleekness of the 946 and that stands it in good stead. In the pictures as well as in the flesh, the Primavera looks modern - the body wraps tightly around the scooter, the curves are flatter than before and it all looks athletic and fit. The scooter also looks classy - the link to the Vespa school of design are unmistakable and you will not think the scooter is a retro-Yamaha or something by any stretch of the imagination.
Overall though, the Primavera is roughly the same size physically as the LX (or in India, the Vespa). Vespa says certain dimensions have been tweaked in the interest of ergonomics and usability. For example, the scooter marries a thinner footboard to a lower seat height to ensure that even the vertically challenged will find the scooter easy to get their feet down on. In this retro mix are modern things like LED daytime running lamps which somehow only Vespa can pull off with any elegance. The final design touch are the five-spoke 11" alloy wheels, another classic Vespa cue.
LED daytime running lamps on the Primavera are housed alongside the blinkers
Underneath, the monocoque frame is still the core of the scooter and Vespa claims an unprecedented rigidity and light weight from the new structure. The engineers also repositioned the battery to increase the underseat storage while allowing easier access to the engine for service and maintenance.
The lockable storage space in the front seems a bit deeper than the one in the LX
Underneath the fetching bodywork is the new engine that uses two position arms (rather than one) and uses rubber dampers to quell vibration. The single-sided front suspension - tradition remains - now uses a completely redesigned setup that cuts friction for quicker suspension response and better ride quality.
LED tail lamp and new blinkers are the changes at the rear
At launch, Vespa says there will be 125cc and 150cc 3-valve SOHC fuel-injected engines - based on the LX engines - in the Primavera. The engines have a new crankshaft, roller-rockers and a new bore and stroke to ensure better torque. The spark plug position in the combustion chamber has also been altered in the interest of economy, performance as well as improved cooling and easier maintenance. The new engine is lighter than before and that says Vespa is one of the reasons the scooter can return 64kmpl at an average speed of 50kmph. For the younger riders in Europe, Vespa will also offer 50cc two- and four-stroke versions.
Vespa says there will be 125cc and 150cc 3-valve SOHC fuel-injected engines - based on the LX engines - in the Primavera
The Primavera is expected to replace the LX series in many markets around the world and that is extremely interesting. The possibility of Piaggio India bringing the Primavera as a second line of scooters is remote because the LX series is already being sold at a dramatic premium to the other scooters in the market. Making the Primavera even more expensive will not be sales friendly. On the other hand, given that the response to the Vespa (LX and VX) has been pretty quiet, primarily thanks to the optimistic pricing, the Primavera might just be what Piaggio Indian needs for their huge new two-wheeler plant to finally get busy. It might be the scooter to bring the spring in their step. Sorry, we couldn't resist, after all, Primavera means spring in Italian.
If Piaggio India plays this right, the Primavera could come as an expensive scooter will all the goodies - fuel injection, alloy wheels and disc brakes or as a stripped down version at a more reasonable price.
In either case, we expect that the Primavera will be at Piaggio's Auto Expo stand although whether or not the company will make a commercial announcement at the Auto Expo is unknown.
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