Vespa 946 Aluminum Components in Detail

When reports about the production version of Vespa’s 946 Quarantsei first surfaced, the most shocking detail being reported was that Vespa had opted to build the 946 out of aluminum instead of traditional steel. Clarifying information later came to light that only select components on the new wasp were going to be built from the fairer metal. Some internet scouring has produced this image, which shows just which components will be aluminum:

According to what looks like an official Vespa diagram, it’s not just the front mudguard and handlebar that will be made from aluminum. It’s a whole host of parts. Suspension components, the horncast, several removable body and service panels, and even the underside to the 946’s unbelievable cantilevered seat. In fact it’s starting to look like nearly every bit and bob you’d find molded out of plastic on most modern Vespas will be hewn out of aircraft grade aluminum on the 946. With pricing rumored in the range of $10,000 USD, that figure is starting to make a lot more sense. Manufacturing these intricate parts from aluminum as opposed to plastic will likely be an order of magnitude more expensive.

Yet, I kind of admire Vespa for doing it. They’re not compromising on this scooter, and by doing so, they’re creating a true halo vehicle for the segment. They’re taking a page out of the book of Ferrari and Ducati. Build a product oozing with desire and somebody will likely turn up and pay for it. Will it work for the 946? We’ll have to wait until 2014 to find out.

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  • I saw this, too. However, I could not verify that it was actually produced by Piaggio (I think you spell ‘aluminum’ the same way in English and Italian), so I didn’t put much stock in it. But now that the production (or “production,” your choice) 946 has been revealed, this could be credible.

    Trouble is, the aluminum bits are the same parts that are rendered in plastic on a GTS or LX. These are the parts most likely to be damaged; they’re expensive to replace in plastic, they would be even more so in aluminum (and probably wouldn’t be painted, either).

    More importantly, the aluminum bits would offer no meaningful weight savings. Back when everyone thought the body would be made of aluminum, that made sense in order to reduce weight, so a GTS-sized scooter would perform reasonably well with a 125cc engine.

    The word that now best describes the 946 is “cynical.” It’s something only an empty-headed scooter fetishist (especially one with a lot of money) would find the least bit interesting. It won’t ride any better than an LX (or Fly, for that matter), but seems likely to sell for twice as much. Personally, I’d rather have the Fly…

    • Vespaman

      Thank you! I finally found out who I am: Empty-headed scooter fetishist with a lot of money! Yeah! I ordered 946 2 weeks ago, it will be my first and the prettiest “twisty” in my vintage Vespa stable. 🙂

  • dandurston

    Thanks for a closer look at the 946. There’s a lot of elements that I like (ie. rear haunches, horncast area) but I’m still having a hard time with that seat design.

    In any case, its fun watching this story unfold. Selling this for $10g seems crazy to me, but perhaps it’ll have the desired effect as a halo vehicle even if it doesn’t make money.

    I’d personally like to see a Vespa S with the rear haunches from the 946.