Vespa Sprint Release
Vespa have released the final piece of the Primavera puzzle. The new sporty Sprint.
Allen Drysdale/Vespa Italy
Vespa have released the sprint in Rome this week. The Sprint namesake is heavily represented in Vespa’s history and we see it used here on Vespa’s latest model.
The Vespa Sprint shares all the technical upgrades as seen on the Primavera. The new one piece steel frame has superior rigidity over the previous LX and the new front suspension system enhances the Sprints ability to absorb bumps.
Other major upgrades include a lower seat height and more room in the footrest area. The battery now resides in the floor so there’s more room under the seat.
Instruments have been updated as have the mirrors. Lights have been enhanced with what is becoming the norm, LED runlights and a rear LED tail. The front headlight is square, a direct play on the past. There's also a new seat and the piping is a nice touch.
The 3 valve engine is mounted in a different way to reduce vibrations and increase comfort. The big difference though is the Sprints adoption of 12 inch wheels from the 946.
The Sprint will be a massive leap forward for Vespa. Larger, more comfortable and better handling that will help make the most of the new 3 valve engines. It also comes with a brushless starter motor for silent starting.
At a guess, the Sprint will most likely make it here a few months after the Primavera launch in April. Price and final capacity for our country are yet to be determined or announced. We may be lucky and get a 150 cc version, we will wait and see.
Europe gets three versions. The 50 cc, 2 and 4 stroke, and the 3 valve 125. The official European press release and specifications from Vespa are below.(unedited)
See the Vespa Sprint Videos
VESPA SPRINT – LEGENDARY BY BIRTH - THE RETURN OF THE LEGENDARY “VESPINO”
The brand new Sprint is the most sporty and dynamic Vespa “small body” available. Its name recalls concepts which are intimately tied to the sporty Vespa's of the ’60s and ‘70s. The new Vespa Sprint embodies the heritage of the fastest and most youthful Vespa's, providing those same essential and indispensable elements that made it so successful with young people such as the sport design saddle and the rectangular headlight, details which the Vespa Sprint shares today. Just as the Vespa Primavera replaced the popular and widespread LX version, the Vespa Sprint replaces the Vespa S (the more sporty version of the Vespa LX), thereby continuing the Vespa tradition of using the same solid, tried and true technical base to create two significantly different models in terms of variation and target rider.
Vespa Sprint offers numerous bold aspects which strongly characterise it and set it apart. The saddle has an exclusive design, enhanced by a strictly black covering with a white line finish, a clear tribute to Vespa sport saddles. The convenient fold-away bag hook is still at the end, contributing to increasing the already significant cargo capacity of the Vespa Sprint. In fact, the 16.6 litre helmet compartment can easily accommodate a full jet helmet thanks to the space created by moving the battery into the central tunnel of the footrest. The square-shaped passenger handgrip is also new, which, along with the particular conformation of the footrest, ensures plenty of room for the pillion as well as correct space and a comfortable and safe posture.
The hard work of the Piaggio Group Style Centre gave the new Vespa Sprint various exclusive and strongly distinctive stylistic features. The instrument panel, protected by the hint of a spoiler, has a new black background for the speedometer, while the multifunction digital display now has aggressive red backlighting. The same colour scheme is applied in the new finish of the “neck-tie” on the shield. The experience gained in the 946 project, the most prized and technological Vespa of all time, can also be seen in the shape of the new rear-view mirrors, the modern design which integrates perfectly with the overall style of the Vespa Sprint. The headlight has the typical rectangular shape of sporty Vespas. The front daylight running lights are LED, as is the rear brake light. This is a tangible sign of a Vespa that, as always, looks toward the future without forgetting that stylistic tradition which made it a true ambassador of Italian design throughout the world.
The most characteristic technical elements on the Vespa Sprint are still its beautiful 12 inch, brand new design aluminium alloy wheel rims. This is the first time that such large diameter wheel rims and large tyres are mounted on a Vespa “small body”, similar to the ones on the GTS series Vespas. This and its other elements contribute to placing the Vespa Sprint between the Primavera and the GTS series, targeting riders who truly want the most from the Vespa small body.
A NEW VESPA IN A BRAND NEW BODY
Vespa Sprint is a child of the same design that gave birth to the Vespa Primavera. A cutting-edge project that uses the best available technology and an absolutely exceptional design. It is a true revolution with respect to previous Vespa small body generations. With the goal of guaranteeing the same ease and lightweight qualities of the previous Vespa S, but setting new standards in terms of comfort, space, riding pleasure and safety, Vespa Sprint is a complete revamping of shape and size, carrying on the path begun by the Vespa 946.
The overall dimensions are still similar to those that marked the success of the Vespa LX and Vespa S, but an increase in some fundamental specific dimensions optimises the ergonomics, habitability and ease of use. The rider now has more legroom behind the shield and a new footrest that facilitates placing both feet on the ground, thanks in part to its particular shape. The proverbial Vespa easy handling is still ensured by the compact lateral size, but also by the reduced saddle height, just 790 mm from the ground. The tail is again pointed and tapered, just like on the first prototype that inspired the name "Vespa" because of its similarity to a wasp. In it, the extended taillight also helps to give the body a streamlined appearance.
The stylistic tributes to the Vespa heritage continue in the distribution of the handlebar trim: the classic horizontal separation returns, characteristic of the most famous Vespa models, while the electrical controls have been inserted in true “bracelets” which, thanks to the chromium finish, are actually separated from the rest and are clearly reminiscent of that element which acted as the gear/clutch assembly on some of the most classic models, located on the left side of the handlebar.
The instrument panel uses a high level of technology, but recalls the trapezoidal shapes of the most classic Vespa instrument panels. The headlight has a chromium frame once again, yet another plainly Vespa tradition style, while the taillight uses LED illumination technology.
The flat, two-up saddle is comfortable and spacious and has double stitching in accordance with customary refined Italian leather.. The rear is surrounded by the passenger handgrip, made in sturdy and reliable chromium piping which on the Vespa Sprint is more square-shaped, in line with the sporty set up of the vehicle.
The Vespa Sprint colour schemes also stem from Vespa tradition. The three classic colours of Montebianco, Rosso Dragon and Nero Lucido are joined by two brand new, bold colour schemes: Blu Gaiola and Giallo Positano. All the colours are strictly matched with a black saddle.
THE TECHNICAL SIDE - REFINED CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY
A new, more rigid body
The steel sheet bodywork has always made the Vespa stand out from any other scooter in the world. The Vespa Sprint body is new, although it maintains a loyalty to the construction philosophy of pressed, welded parts. The welding process takes place on a new and futuristic line which is completely automated and guarantees excellent quality and precision standards.
The precise design of the various components has allowed previously unseen levels of rigidity to be achieved, but without compromising the weight of the structure. Compared to the Vespa LX and Vespa S, the rigidity of the headstock has been increased by 36%, while the longitudinal bend has increased as much as 154%. The advantages are tangible in terms of safety and riding pleasure on the road, where riders will discover a Vespa with dynamic qualities and exceptional stability and handling. The new frame design has made it possible to move the battery into the central footrest tunnel, thereby increasing the space available for a helmet and other items in the helmet compartment. Also, since the helmet compartment is free of fixing screws it can be easily removed to facilitate accessibility for servicing.
Vibrations are eliminated thanks to the new engine mount system
The engine is mounted on the body with a system of 2-position arms (only one position on the previous version) and uses a stop with double rubber absorption damper. As a result, the rider feels a notable reduction in vibrations in the various contact points (saddle, knobs and footrest).
New front suspension
Despite maintaining a single arm, pin driven front suspension in typical Vespa tradition, the new Sprint has a completely redesigned system capable of reducing slide friction by half. The shock absorber is now fixed to the aluminium support that connects it to the wheel via a hinged pin, whereas previously it was fixed with two screws. Increasing suspension slide increases riding comfort and the ability to absorb any imperfections in the road which therefore keep the rider from feeling the bumps.
NEW 3-VALVE ENGINES – ECOLOGY, SAVINGS AND PERFORMANCE
Vespa Sprint is available in two displacements and three different engines: two 50 cc (two or four stroke) and a 125 cc with 3-valve timing that represents the cutting-edge of technology, performance and minimum fuel consumption and pollution levels. It is a single cylinder 4 stroke air cooled engine with 3 valves (2 intake and 1 exhaust) single overhead cam and electronic fuel injection. It was designed and built in the Pontedera plant, in some of the most advanced research & development centres in the world, with the goal of increasing performance and fuel economy and lowering polluting emissions. To ensure optimum performance levels, a painstaking study was carried out to reduce friction and improve the fluid dynamics.
The new crankshaft, with reduced button and bench capacity, the pivoted cam axle on bearings and the roller rockers have made a significant improvement in operating friction, all to the advantage of performance and fuel economy. The bore and stroke values (respectively reduced and increased in relation to the previous 4-stroke engines) were designed to benefit torque and acceleration response.
In the search for the best performance/fuel consumption ratio, the 3 valve timing solution is the most effective because it improves intake, increasing engine efficiency compared to conventional 2 valve engines. The 3V distribution enables better fuel mixture loading movements in the cylinder; the combustion process is further refined by the new spark plug position which simultaneously ensures improved cooling of the components in the head, as well as simplified maintenance.
The cooling system was the object of careful analysis, even through thermo fluid dynamic simulations, in order to further improve performance and thereby obtaining a significant reduction in mechanical noise and absorbed power. The electronic injection system is completely new. It is a new generation unit, technologically advanced and designed by Piaggio specifically for Vespa Primavera and Vespa Sprint.
The new free wheel electric starter, more quiet and efficient, goes perfectly with an engine so rich with technological content. Also, the automatic dry centrifugal clutch has been calibrated with the goal of maximising performance and fuel economy at low speeds. Vespa Sprint uses a new variator that reduces engine speed before shifting, improving fuel economy and comfort without sacrificing the excellent acceleration and pick-up performance, a stand-out characteristic of this long-stroke 4-Stroke engine.
The 3V also has the important advantage of weighing less than its 2V predecessor. The extremely low fuel consumption figures (up to 64 km/l at an average speed of 50 km/h) and lengthy maintenance gaps (service every 10,000 km) mean very low running costs.
The two 50 cc Vespa Sprint versions are dedicated to the very young rider, a tribute to the tradition which began in the ’60s when the legendary small engine capacity “Vespini” became the preferred mode of transpiration for the teens of that period.
The 2-stroke 50 cc engine in the Hi-Per2 series is intended for young riders looking for more brilliant performance to get around quickly in the city. The 4-stroke 50 cc engine boasts modern 4 valve timing that provides more lively acceleration: in fact, it is the most powerful 4-stroke 50 cc engine on the market, with its 4.35 HP produced in a very linear way, along with excellent fuel economy and limited polluting emissions.