Cars
April 26, 2016

Vespa and Mini bring updated versions of classic models to Philippines

Words by Erika Uy

Reaching iconic status in the 1960s, global brands Vespa and Mini introduce two new models to a Philippine audience

037 Vespa Sprint

CITY SLICKER. The Vespa Primavera’s new steel body and technological upgrades make it perfect for today’s urban riders.

It’s something when a brand becomes a verb. The word vespera was coined in the 60s, meaning “to go around on a Vespa,” connoting a kind of spirit popularized by films such as La Dolce Vita, associated with the Italian high life: Style. Freedom. Romance. Getting away. But beneath this glamorous façade is the scooter’s gritty history. Founded in 1946, Vespa was inspired by the Cushman scooters that were airdropped from helicopters. They became the soldier’s alternative vehicle to Jeeps during World War II.

Now 70 years old, the legendary two-wheelers make a grand entry on our shores under Vespa Scooters Philippines. Available are the newly innovated models, Primavera and Sprint. Adjustments in the handlebar, saddle, and height make for a safer, more stable and more comfortable ride.

Having first emerged in 1968, today’s Primavera has a modern streamlined look, a pointed and tapered tail—still echoing the Italian brand’s namesake. It is powered by a 150CC three-valve single cylinder air-cooled engine, boasting 13 horsepower and 9.5 lb-ft of torque. The addition of electronic fuel injection ensures performance without sacrificing fuel economy.

The Vespa Sprint, on the other hand, serves as a sportier and more dynamic alternative to the Primavera. It pays tribute to the Vespas of the 60s and 70s, which were geared toward a younger audience. Powered by a 150CC three-valve engine with catalytic converter that produces 12.7 horsepower and 9.4 lb-ft of torque, the new Sprint is the fastest and most efficient one around. The revolutionary element of the updated model is its 12-inch tires, making handling the scooter easier and safer.

088

The Mini Clubman is the largest and most sophisticated model from the iconic British brand to date.

Vespa achieved its popularity in the 60s alongside another stylish icon: the Mini. Also available in Manila is the new Mini Clubman—similarly sporty and functional, better fit for a family. It has a generous cargo space of up to 48 cubic feet, making it the perfect companion for out-of-town travels and weekend getaways. Though bigger than other models, its added spaciousness does not compromise its sleekness. Paired with BMW engineering under its hood is a 134-horsepower 1.5-liter turbo three-cylinder engine with an eight-speed manual that allows precise shifting. It also has a Driving Mode system that lets you toggle between Sport Mode, which adjusts throttle and steering capabilities for faster driving, and Green Mode, which allows for more easygoing drives and efficient fuel delivery.

Both stylish brands, the Vespa and Mini have taken into account new technologies by going digital and have made sustainable, eco-friendly commitments for the future. Nothing like marrying style with sensibility. The Vespa Sprint and Primavera, as well as the Mini Clubman, can be taken for a spin at AutoHub Group of Companies’ showroom (5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig).

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