U.S. Vespa dealers reported this week that shipments of the latest version of the company’s best-selling model, the LX 150, have arrived and are starting to appear on showroom floors. The 2013 LX comes in new colors, including “Verde Portovenere” (aquamarine, seen above), “New Vulcano” (satin black) and “Montebianco” (white). Additional styling changes include a new, reshaped horncast, with beveled plastic, new grips and a floor mat emblazoned with a Vespa logo.
The LX 150 will soon be followed by its sport counterpart, the S 150. Among the changes to the S is a new enclosure for the speedometer cluster. The oft-critiqued chromed plastic is now a flat black. New colors for the S include “Azzuro Mediterraneo” (at least the 4th new shade of light blue from Vespa since 2006).
What’s missing from the restyled U.S. 150s is the new 3-valve engine that’s currently available overseas. The 3V, first seen in the 946 “Quarantasei” concept at EICMA last year, features a number of design changes intended to improve performance and fuel economy while reducing emissions—a 7% increase in maximum power and 10% gain in maximum torque. The cooling system, electric starter and front suspension have all also been improved in the 3V version. It’s currently uncertain whether the U.S. version has any of these changes.
While the U.S. market is often the last to get the newest products from Piaggio, in this case the delay may be due to the higher displacement of the American scooters—150cc versus the 125cc engines sold in most of the rest of the world. The 3V has reduced bore and a new crankshaft with longer stroke, which may necessitate additional changes to get to 150cc.
Stateside availability of the 3V hasn’t been announced and may not be until mid-2013. Still, the presence of the 3V in the new non-U.S. LXs casts some doubt on whether the model will be replaced by the 946—as some dealers have claimed—which is also rumored to be heading into production next year.