This despite the decades that have passed since it was first catapulted to worldwide notoriety in the 1953 flick, Roman Holiday. While the design has subtly changed over the years, it has always buzzed like its hive of its wasp namesake (yes, vespa means wasp in Italian). Now, a new model, the Vespa Eletricca, has been presented at EICMA (Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori) that will significantly soften that noise. Optionally, at least. Let us explain.
As you might have guessed, the Vespa Eletricca is battery-powered. It looks identical to the concept unveiled at the 2016 edition of EICMA (that was said to arrive in the latter half of 2017, but then didn't), and once in stores will keep its "chrome grey finish with metallic reflections," though with a choice of seven trim colors.
While it certainly look more modern overall, it retains a retro headlight integrated into the handlebar assembly. Even that, though, is reflective of the times as it's an LED unit. It still looks very Vespa.
Though it sits very solidly in the 50cc class of scooters, parent company Piaggio says it will offer improved acceleration over traditional gas-powered models. The motor puts out 4 kW (5.4 horsepower) at peak and 2 kW (2.7 hp) nominal and, get this, a claimed 147.5 pound-feet of torque. It offers the choice of two different performance maps: Eco and Power. Eco mode offers a chill driving experience limits top speed to a pedestrian 30 kph (18.6 miles per hour), while Power mode unlocks the scoot's full potential.