(Please note: new info added towards the bottom of this post)
So, it seems that the new Vespa 946 is definitely getting closer to becoming a real production model! From the 2012 EICMA show in Milan, Motoblog.it is showing a new promo picture where the supposed 946 model has clearly been fitted with the accessories one would expect from a street production model. Items that were missing from last year's prototype, that are now on this pre-launch version, seem to include the controls, center stand, turn signals and mirrors.
I would have thought they would have gotten rid of that new seat, in favor of one like the one on the current LX150's, including under seat storage space, but that doesn't seem to be the case... Maybe it will be different on the one that actually comes out next year? And, I'm not really a big fan of the new handlebars that house the mirrors. They look really cheap and plastic and, dare I say, even Chinese made...! Liked the prototype version a lot more (see previous post below).
Anyway, here is the new picture (click on the image below for a larger picture), as well as the translated text, from the Motoblog.it website:
Preview Vespa 946 2013
the 70th edition of the International Motorcycle Show in Milan (EICMA
2012) will make its official debut the new Vespa 946 anticipated in last
year's show in Milan. Vespa
946 is inspired directly to the head of the history of the scooter most
famous and popular in the world, the MP6 prototype, first embryo from
which the Vespa was born in the spring after the war, the most famous
scooter in the world, unsurpassed example of style and Italian creativity.
the purest essence of those traits that marked forever the aesthetics
of individual mobility, the Pontedera Style Centre projects for sale in a
new generation in which tradition and innovation come together
beautifully. The masterful build quality and nobility of the materials used differ Vespa 946 from any other two-wheelers. The
use of aluminum contributes, as well as the definition of a stunning
aesthetics, the greater lightness and therefore to an increase of the
heart of the Vespa 946 is a modern engine that reveals the lines of
development of the engine near future, characterized by reduced
consumption (more than 55 km per liter), and removal of gaseous and
noise emissions (-30% emissions). The
single cylinder 125 cc four-stroke, 3-valve, air-cooled and powered by
electronic injection represents the state of the art technology of the
Piaggio Group in engines for scooters.
Vespa brand, in the first nine months of 2012, confirming the steady
growth of its sales in the world - more than tripled from 2003 to 2011,
from about 50,000 to more than 150,000 last year - amounting to
approximately 121,000 units sold from January to September 2012.
NEW INFO (updated 11/12/2012):
For the first time, Vespa is moving away from its steel body to an
aluminum alloy for reduced weight and improved fuel economy. Another
first for Vespa is the horizontally-mounted rear shock absorber which
also features four adjustable preload positions. Like other new
Piaggio-family scooters such as the Aprilia SRV 850 and Piaggio BV350, the Vespa 946 comes equipped with ABS and traction control. Other modern touches include LED lighting and LCD display.
Powering the 946 is Piaggio’s fuel-injected three-valve 125cc
air-cooled single cylinder engine which was introduced in 2012 on the LX
and S. Low friction components and the three-valve timing system help
improve efficiency. According to Piaggio, the engine increases maximum
power by 7.1% to 11.4 hp at 8250rpm and torque by 10.3% to 7.9 ft-lb. at
6500 rpm, compared to previous 125cc engines. The fuel economy
improvement is even more impressive with Piaggio claiming a 30% increase
to 129.4 mpg at a speed of 31 mph. Maintenance intervals were also
lengthened to every 10,000 km (6,213 miles).
Piaggio presented the prototype at its North American dealer meeting,
saying the Vespa 946 will be imported to these shores. The word now is that it will not come to the United States until the 1st Quarter of 2014.
Piaggio has announced that when it introduces the 946 in Europe, in the summer of 2013, it will be priced at around 8,000 Euros. That currently translates to around $10,000 in US Dollars!! Yikes! Kinda high for a 150cc scooter. It will more likely be priced between $5500 and $7500 here in the US (I am thinking), but it will still be a probably high priced item, especially since it will more than likely be a limited production run model.
NEW INFO (updated 11/14/2012):
Check out this new publicity video, showing all the angles of the new Vespa 946 model (with added audio track):
NEW INFO (updated 11/17/2012):
And here are new publicity pictures of the Vespa 946, showing the initial two color combinations it will be offered in: White, with red seat and handlebar grips, and Black, with gray seat and handlebar grips. Again, it is now expected to come to the USA in the 1st Quarter of 2014, so start saving your pennies.