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New Vespa GTS is the Ferrari of scooters, and quicker in the city

by Antony Ingram
7 October 2022 2 min read
New Vespa GTS is the Ferrari of scooters, and quicker in the city
Photos: Piaggio

GTS: A new Maserati perhaps? Or perhaps you’re thinking Gran Turismo Spider, such as you’d find on the back of an open-topped Ferrari 812 or 296.

Nope, think a bit smaller than that, because another Italian brand that attaches the letters GTS to its wares is Piaggo, and the iconic Vespa scooter. And while it doesn’t make the best part of 800 horsepower like an 812 GTS, the latest Vespa GTS is still the most powerful model the company has ever made.

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In fact, with 23bhp at its disposal, the 278cc GTS is more powerful than some classic cars we’ve featured recently; the 1963 2CV we tried back in April made just 18bhp. The Vespa does it with just a single four-stroke cylinder too, using Piaggio’s 300 HPE (‘High Performance Engine’) unit, which also promises lower than ever emissions.

The iconic shape – which no longer exactly matches the original two-stroke Vespas of the 1940s, but has remained somewhat similar since the mid-2000s – remains constructed from steel.

Vespa GTS 300

While this construction method was originally grandfathered in from a time when plastic didn’t really exist, it now allows Piaggio to boast of 100 per cent recyclability. Not a bad idea, given the relative disposability of cheap transport like scooters, though surely you’d want to hang onto the GTS longer than most, and enjoy the aesthetics of the fourteen different colour schemes offered.

To go with the more powerful engine, there’s a new front suspension system. It promises better stability at high speeds, and better comfort everywhere, yet still holds the front wheel from just one side, like the old ones.

The seat is supposedly improved too, with space for two (or, depending on the market, many more), while those who’ve stepped away from step-throughs for a few years might be surprised to learn the GTS offers features like keyless ignition, remote locking of the seat storage and the steering column, and a TFT instrument display.

High performance, timeless good looks, and an Italian badge? There’s more to Italy than just Maseratis and Ferraris. And while there’s no pricing for the new GTS just yet, five grand gets the current one; you’ll probably not find something quicker in the city for similar money.

Read more

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