WorldWide Tech & Science. Francisco De Jesùs.
Back from the Future: Piaggio rewinds the scooter Vespa 946.
Sixty-six years and 17 million vehicles after the Piaggio group decided to return to their origins to present an updated version of the first Vespa prototype presented in 1946.
The recently concluded Motorcycle Hall of Milan was the venue chosen by the Italian manufacturer for the world debut of this model, which combines the classic style of the iconic retro 'scooter' cutting with futuristic details.
In terms of structure, the first 946 incorporates a body made of steel and aluminum, which seeks to reduce the overall weight and thus optimize energy efficiency.
Also available is the new rear shock, which is now horizontal and not vertical, as it was in previous models. Moreover, the preload is adjustable in four positions, to adapt the response of the suspension to the different situations and improve the ride comfort.
Piaggio realizes that the 946 is known for its stability, which exceeds that of the great GTS, while its lightness and wide steering angle make it very agile, a quality he shares with the small LX. The seat is an important design element. With hinges placed on an aluminum support, leaves the air back. The upholstery is made from a fabric waterproof.
In terms of security, has disc brakes assisted by an antilock system. It also incorporates the innovative ASR traction control, which prevents the front wheel slip slightly adherent surfaces.
Vespa Quarantasei (forty-six, the name refers to the year in which the first Vespa was manufactured) opens a window to the future in technology as well.
The beating heart of the Vespa Quarantasei is an extremely modern engine which unveils the development lines of motoring in the new future, characterised by low fuel consumption and decreased gas and sound emissions.
The single cylinder 125 cc 4 stroke, 3 valve, air cooled engine with electronic injection represents Piaggio Group's state of the art technology in scooter engines.
The new engine has been designed, developed and manufactured entirely in Pontedera, Piaggio's largest plant, which is one of the most advanced engine development and production centres in the world. This engine is born from the challenge that the Piaggio Group has taken on: to provide an increasingly more evolved customer with a product that guarantees performance, reliability and safety while also leading the field in respect for the environment.
An extremely modern engine.
The innovative 3 valve timing which characterises the Vespa Quarantasei engine allows optimisation of the load motion in the cylinder both in terms of tumble and swirl as well as optimal positioning of the spark plug, increasing combustion performance and at the same time guaranteeing optimum cooling of the parts inside the head.
For all of the bodies in motion bearings have been used in order to keep internal friction to a minimum: the timing rockers have a roller, all to the advantage of reducing noise and increasing mechanical efficiency, the camshaft is on bearings as well as the entire final drive.
The cooling system was carefully analysed, even through thermal fluid-dynamic simulations, in order to further improve performance, thereby obtaining significant reduction in terms of absorbed power and acoustics.
The injection system is state of the art for functionality and rideability, with automatic idle control and closed-loop titre management with a lambda probe. The three dimensional maps of advance, titre and injection timing are managed by a new generation control unit. Together with the trivalent catalytic converter, compliance with the Euro3 standard is more than guaranteed, even in anticipation of future standards which will be increasingly restrictive in terms of containment of polluting emissions.