One of the biggest scooter story from EICMA last autumn was the debut of Vespa’s new Primavera. Replacing the well-loved LX-150, the Primavera not only takes over in terms of Vespa’s small-frame offering, it’s the first new Vespa design in quite some time. More specifically, it’s the first “regular” Vespa model since the debut of the 946. That post-946 distinction is important because when we look at the Primavera, its 946 lineage is obvious. Where the 946’s limited production numbers and aspirational price point put it well out of the reach for most scooter shoppers, the Primavera is the “new” small frame Vespa for the rest of us.
Powered by the latest generation 3V 125/150cc Piaggio power plant, the Primavera manages both better fuel economy and more power than the LX engine it replaces. New rims and other details make the Primavera a new scooter in basically every respect. Yet as remarkable as the Primavera is as an evolution of the world’s most recognizable scooter brand, how the Primavera is produced is equally noteworthy. If, like me, you’re a sucker for industrial films, then today’s video is right up your alley.
Vespa remains the only scooter manufacturer to produce a modern scooter without a conventional tubular frame. Holding to their aircraft roots, the monocoque pressed steel chassis of all the Vespa machines give them a structural rigidity and artistic shape that remains unlike anything else on the market. Now one might think that I’m shilling for Vespa a little bit there. That’s not my intention. It’s simply worth noting that Vespas are made differently than any other two-wheeler in the world, for better or for worse. That unique construction brings a premium, and Vespa has embraced that. It also means that any damage to a Vespa is much more expensive to fix, but I digress.
What makes this video really interesting to me is just how technologically advanced the production of the Primavera appears to be. From the massive hydraulic presses creating the chassis member pieces, to the robotic plasma cutters that refine those shapes and cut all the access ports, to the CNC machining equipment that refines the engine casings — the entire process is as modern and high-tech as any automotive production line I’ve ever seen. It’s like watching a tiny Mercedes be produced. Regardless of where your brand loyalties lie, you have to admit, the production process is pretty impressive.
You can find more of our coverage of the new Vespa Primavera here.