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.