Top Speed 2020 Vespa Buying Guide
Vespa’s 2020 lineup explainedby Allyn Hinton, on LISTEN 07:21
Launched, oddly enough, from the aircraft industry, Vespa is the quintessential scooter. Since 1946, Vespa defined the classic look in reliable, uncomplicated transportation. The Vespa line of scooters ranges from 50 cc to 300 cc, and from youthful exuberance to business-like dignity, all combining iconic designs with modern technology.
Born out of Piaggio’s aircraft division, the Vespa legend grew from a single scooter, the “98.”
In 1945, Italy’s economy was struggling in the post-war era, and the aircraft industry was severely restricted. With roads in shambles and the auto industry on hold, there was an urgent need for affordable transportation. Enrica Piaggio and a few Piaggio engineers left the aeronautics field and designed a motorcycle, dubbed the MP5.
Initially displeased with early prototype, Piaggio brought in aeronautical engineer Corradino D’Ascanio, whose dislike for motorcycles was well known. The D’Ascanio’s design was what we now consider a classic scooter, designated the MP6. The engine was mounted near the rear wheel without a drive chain. It had stress-bearing outer panels and a step-through design. The wheels were interchangeable and the front suspension was single-sided, and knowing from where it came, it’s easy to see the connection with the aircraft-style suspension still used in Vespa scooters today.
As the story goes, when Enrico Piaggio first saw the MP6 prototype, he exclaimed, "Sembra una vespa!" Translated it means, "It looks like a wasp!" referring the scooter’s shape with its thick, curved rear and narrow waist. The name stuck and Vespa was born.
Vespa was an immediate hit. Unveiled in April, 1946, the scooter was modern, innovative, and within reach of the general public. Starting off small in a local dealer network, the first Vespas sold for 55,000 lira with the deluxe modern going for 66,000 lira.
MIA: Vespa’s multimedia platform in models with a TFT display. MIA is a connectivity system that connects your smartphone through Bluetooth to the Vespa GTS on-board electronics system. With MIA, you can bring your own jukebox of music, answer calls hands-free, and view message notifications when the scooter comes to a stop.
Vespa’s 2020 lineup ranges from 50 cc models up to models with 300 cc engines and ranging in price from $3,999 to $10,499.
Introduced in 1968, the Primavera is the first version of scooter considered classic. It answered the younger generation’s desire for freedom and social independence. A revolution in its time, the Primavera was agile, safety-minded and exuded a youthful look. The modern lineup includes a Touring version with chrome racks and a windscreen, and a sporty “S” model that brings technology to the everyday rider in a TFT display and MIA, Vespa’s multimedia platform.
|Primavera 50||$3,999||50 cc|
|Primavera 50 Touring||$4,199||50 cc|
|Primavera 50 Yacht Club||$4,099||50 cc|
|Primavera 150||$5,349||155 cc|
|Primavera 150 Sport||$5,649||155 cc|
|Primavera 150 Yacht Club||$5,449||155 cc|
|Primavera 150 Touring||$5,549||155 cc|
Vespa’s sportiest mode, the Sprint is slim and lightweight with 12-inch wheels for improved handling and ride quality. Exuding youthful exuberance, the Sprint emphasizes fresh style and modern technology in a multi-function TFT display and MIA connectivity on the 150 models. The Sprint is meant to be quick, extremely agile, and modern to appeal to the younger buyer base. Both the 50 cc and the 150 cc are available in the matte-black Notte version.
|Sprint 50||$4,099||50 cc|
|Sprint 50 Notte||$4,199||50 cc|
|Sprint 50 S||$4,249||50 cc|
|Sprint 150||$5,649||155 cc|
|Sprint 150 Sport||$5,749||155 cc|
|Sprint 150 Notte||$5,749||155 cc|
Vespa Limited Speed
For 2020, Vespa released the Limited Speed of the Primavera 50 and the Sprint 50 to expand the availability of small scooters in states that limit top speed as a condition for operating a scooter with a driver’s license and no motorcycle endorsement. Ride the restricted 50 cc models in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, and Wisconsin with a regular driver’s license.
|LS Primavera 50||$3,999||50 cc|
|LS Sprint 50||$4,099||50 cc|
Powered with Vespa’s most powerful engine to date, the GTS line has an updated frame and LED lighting for agile handling and increased safety. The GTS Touring comes with racks and a windscreen, and the Yacht Club sports a nautical-themed colorway. An ergonomically-designed saddle increases comfort, and added features, such as the remote seat opener, Bike-Finder, and USB port increase convenience and functionality.
|GTS 300 HPE||$7,099||278 cc|
|GTS 300 HPE Touring||$7,299||278 cc|
|GTS 300 Yacht Club||$7,049||278 cc|
Vespa GTS Super
The Vespa GTS Super takes the GTS a step further with a redesigned front, reshaped handlebar, LED lighting, and a new ergonomic saddle to increase comfort and safety. The new SuperTech adds upgraded technology in the form of a TFT display and MIA connectivity system. All models are powered by the new HPE engine to deliver updated performance, while still meeting emissions regulations and economic fuel efficiency.
|GTS Super 300 HPE||$7,199||278 cc|
|GTS SuperSport 300 HPE||$7,299||278 cc|
|GTS SuperTech 300 HPE||$7,749||278 cc|
|GTS Super 300 Notte||$7,299||278 cc|
Vespa Sei Giorni
The original Sei Giorni set the race world on its ear at the prestigious and notoriously tough Sei Giorni Internazionale at Varese, Italy, in 1951. The accomplishment is even more notable considering it won against conventional off-road motorcycles. Following the success of last year’s Sei Giorni, Vespa brings a numbered but unlimited Second Edition model for 2020. With the same touring prowess of the GTS family, the Sei Giorni combines the classic look – low-mount headlight, exposed metallic-tube handlebar, and burnished windshield – with the modern technology of LED lighting, anti-lock brakes, and USB port.
|Sei Giorni II Edition||$7,749||278 cc|
Vespa jumps into the electric arena with the Elettrica. Rechargable in four hours at a 220V outlet, the Elettrica is capable of over 60 miles of silent running. Connectivity is with your smartphone through the TFT display and Vespa’s MIA feature. Peppy acceleration and responsive handling make the Elettrica a low-maintenance choice for urban transportation.
|Elettrica 4kW||$7,499||4.2 kW/h|
The 946 – a tribute to the very first Vespa in 1946 — is the most elegant and technologically advanced Vespa to date. Steel and aluminum make for a strong, lightweight body, and full LED lights and dual-disc ABS braking add to the technological enhancements. Vespa partnered together with (RED) to add the 946(RED) to the fight against AIDS. One of only 12 products to join the fight, the hand-crafted and modern 946(RED) is the most exclusive of Vespa’s 2020 lineup.
Read more Vespa news.