It’s hard to look deeper than the design of the Vespa 946 Quarantsei. Yet beneath that striking aesthetic and (relatively) exotic materials, the 946 features more technical innovation than Piaggio has put into a scooter in recent memory. Three things in particular make the 946 a technological leap forward: ABS, traction control, and Vespa’s new 3-valve engine.
Compared to the LX/S 150 motor, the new 3-valve version boasts a 6.3% increase in horsepower and a 7.8% increase in torque. That may not sound like much, but small amounts of power make a big difference, especially on small frame scooters like the the LX or the upcoming 946.
Yet power isn’t the real achievement here. Making power is easy. More fuel. More air. What’s difficult is making more power and increasing fuel efficiency. According to Vespa, they’ve wrangled an astounding 30% better fuel economy out of the 3-valve motor. Vespa is boasting 124 mpg at speeds below 30 mph.
Like all manufacturer mpg numbers, these numbers don’t reflect real world conditions, but aspirational numbers this high will still likely reap extremely impressive numbers on actual pavement. What Vespa is claiming to have done here is pack the power of a 170cc and the fuel efficiency of a 80cc into the svelte aluminum cases of a 150cc engine. We’re excited to see this engine make its way into US-spec Vespas and see if it really lives up to all of Vespa’s aspirations for it.
Vespa is so proud of this new 3-valve engine, they have a whole marketing website dedicated to it: Vespa3v.com