Click above for more high-res shots of the new Vespa S 50

Vespa has been building stylish, metal-bodied scooters since the late 1940s and has quite a number of small displacement engines under its stylish Italian belt, so it knows how to make a good powerplant. Although the little scooters are still probably best recognized for their buzzy little two-stroke units, all Vespas have been powered by much cleaner four-strokers since 2001, and Piaggio has been refining these units all the while. The latest edition of the Vespa line, the sporty S model, has just been bestowed with a new version of the SOHC four valve single cylinder engine that reportedly makes more power and uses less gasoline than before. Vespa claims that its new 50cc Vespa S makes a little over 4 horsepower, is quicker than any other scooter on the market with a similarly-sized powerplant, can hit 39 miles per hour right out of the box and will manage somewhere between 70 and 80 miles per gallon of gas. Get yours now for $3,199.

Related Gallery2009 Vespa S 50

[Source: Vespa]


PRESS RELEASE:

The New 2009 Vespa S 50 Debuts with Most Powerful Small Displacement Engine Available in Market Today

New 50cc four-stroke powerplant delivers a sporty punch of good, clean fun

NEW YORK, November 19, 2008 – Italian manufacturer Piaggio, renowned for revolutionary ideas in personal transportation, announces the debut of the 2009 Vespa S 50. This all-new addition to the company's iconic scooter portfolio blends all the premium Vespa product benefits, such as Italian styling and the unique single-steel chassis, with a newly engineered four-stroke, four-valve SOHC engine. To develop the most powerful 50cc four-stroke available today, Vespa engineers minimized weight and maximized the power curve, creating a performance character that to-date has been exclusively associated with two-stroke technology. The new engine variant not only gives the Vespa S 50 a distinct performance edge in the 50cc category, but offers all the environmental benefits of modern four-stroke design.

Clean, Lean, and Ready to Twist and Go

All Vespa scooters retailed in the North American market have been equipped with fuel-efficient, clean-running four-stroke engines since 2001, but the new Vespa S 50 engine pushes the weight, power and efficiency equation to a new benchmark. Handily out-accelerating every other scooter in the 50cc category, including two-stroke equipped competitors, the Vespa S 50 is the scooter to own when performance, not size, matters. To boost output even more, engineers shaved weight wherever possible, including lightening the valve clearance adjustment mechanism for reduced inertia and improved rocker/valve action. The result is higher engine speeds and more power. At the same time, the four-valve head improves air/fuel flow, which means optimized combustion, reduced fuel consumption and lower than ever emissions. Like all Vespas, the S 50 features a 'twist and go' continuously variable transmission (CVT) which transforms all that improved horsepower into smooth and easy acceleration and riding from start to finish.

Original Vespa Lines, Progressive Features

When you are the original, it's easy to continue classic family lines. The Vespa S 50 has the same pedigree as the first Vespa prototype built by Piaggio in 1946, with all the core values that have defined the brand ever since: eco-friendly engineering, elegance, passion, individualism, and integrity.

The Vespa's high-strength steel body acts as the scooter's structural frame, a chassis design solution unique in the world of scooter production. In
addition to superior strength, the frame is exceptionally rigid, resulting in excellent road holding and precision control. The scooter's low center of gravity also makes riding it supremely simple.

Equipped with an advanced front disc/rear drum brake system, the Vespa S 50 offers confident stopping power. The advanced mixed-type braking system includes a front 7.8" diameter disc with hydraulic linkage and a dual opposed piston hydraulic caliper. The back has a 4.3" diameter drum with mechanical linkage. The 11" front and 10" rear wheels with light alloy rims add to the Vespa S 50's excellent stability. A wide arc front halogen headlight ensures great visibility at all times.

The 2008 Vespa S 50 has a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $3,199. Available colors include Dragon Red, Shiny Black, Taormina Orange and Montebianco. For more information on the Vespa S 50 and the entire Vespa model line visit www.vespausa.com.