The Vespa Quarantasei (46 in Italian) is a concept inspired by the 1945 MP6 prototype and it's more wasp-like than ever. Times have changed though and engine technology has made significant advances in the last 65 years. While the Quarantasei is a styling concept, its engine is the real deal.
The new motor is an air-cooled, fuel-injected 3-valve 4-stroke. It'll be available as either a 125 with 11.6bhp at 8,250rpm and 7.6lb/ft at 7,000rpm, or as a 150 with 13bhp at 8,000rpm and 9.3lb/ft at 6,500rpm. Why air cooled? Water pumps and radiators are expensive and scooters are supposed to be cheap. The modern fuel injection system works with a three-way catalytic converter to cut pollution and Vespa says that it will be good enough not only for the current Euro3 standards, but future emissions regulations as well.
Looking at the shapes and textures of the concept, it's easy to be reminded of your girlfriend's Venus razor. That said, this thing is a beautiful example of minimalist design. The bars are swept clean of anything unnecessary and end in wing shaped LED turn signals. Ergonomically shaped grips are made of hand-stitched leather and brake levers have no visible pivots, cables or hydraulic lines. The hanging seat is similar to last year's Moto Guzzi concept bikes and it looks great hovering over a wasp-like engine cover. Right where you would expect to find a small, traditional headlight is a huge projector. A nearly horizontal LED tail-light on the engine cover surrounds what appears to be the gas cap and there's no license plate mount in sight. Many features (such as the bars and tail-light) are obviously concept stuff that won't be making it into production, but we're really excited to see how the rest of this design translates into a production model powered by the new motor.