25 September 2010

The Germans Are Coming! The Germans Are Coming!

All the talk in the scootering world of late has been about the possible return of the Vespa PX in some form or another around 2011. As much as this piece of news is welcomed, it does seem like the crowd at Piaggio aren't actually looking forward enough especially when it comes to the tried and tested Vespa formula.

Well, if ever they needed a kick up the behind then, this should be a good enough reason.

Mini (the now BMW-owned) looks like its expanding its horizons by planning to release some very tasty looking electric scooter concepts at the Paris Motor Show next month (more pictures here). If anything else, I might borrow  some ideas from the green scooter above for my own Green Vespa. Oh, and the use of iPhones as the scooters' driver interface isn't too bad of an idea either. Would love to see some sort of after-market adaptor for the classic Vespa some time soon.

Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your view of the whole thing), the show of interest from established German car makers don't actually end there...

Mercedes-Benz, in the guise of its not-so-successful subsidiary, Smart have also decided to join the fray by releasing its own electric scooter concept (more pictures here). While the Smart design lacks the retro design cues abundant on the Mini concept, I'd say they'd be a lot of people out there who would appreciate the concept's honesty, clean lines and minimalism. Personally, I think it reminds me of an air freshener or something similar but, in a good way. Yes, I don't how that's good when it comes to scooters but all I know is that it does look good.

Now, all we can hope for is that all the accountants, engineers and focus groups don't water down the designs before it gets close to the production line, if ever.

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