South Indian product design firm Mightyseed Designs has created a unique tribute to the Italian scooter, Vespa 98
After World War II, Italy was in a desperate need for affordable means of transportation for the wider mass. Enrico Piaggio (son of Piaggio brand’s founder, Rinaldo Piaggio) was working in the aeronautical field at the time. Realising the necessity of an automotive breakthrough amidst the country’s weakening economy and poor state of infrastructure, Enrico left his profession and focused on creating a simple yet desirable two-wheeler.
The result was the ‘Vespa’ (translating to ‘wasp’ in Italian). It was born as the MP5 (Moto Piaggio no. 5) prototype or “Paperino” in the minds of Piaggio engineers, Renzo Spolti and Vittori Casini. However, Enrico Piaggio was not happy with the prototype’s design and hired aeronautical engineer Corradino D’Ascanio, who later ‘fixed’ it and introduced the ‘MP6’. It apparently looked like a wasp in the eyes of his boss. The very first Vespa model eventually received a ‘98’ tag indicating its 98cc two-stroke single-cylinder motor.
Decades since, the Piaggio Vespa has become more of an icon which many have tried to imitate. It is available in a range of powertrain choices including electric. What remains common across the range is the evolutionary ‘Vespa styling’ characteristics.
Mightyseed Designs, a product design firm based in South India, has shared an interesting twist to the original Vespa 98. The team took a major leap from its base aesthetics while keeping the ‘Vespa DNA’ intact. In an all-electric, ultra-modern approach (‘neo-retro’ if you will), Mightyseed Designs’ Vespa 98 reimagination gives an insight into what the future might hold for the popular Italian scooter line.
The design philosophy follows a blend of minimalism as well as attention to detail. Its single-seat layout, prominent haunches and extreme lack of sharp cuts are quite pleasing to one’s visuals. Among key highlights, the straight-rod handlebar deserves a special mention. It incorporates a space-efficient instrument console as well as a pair of LED DRLs. We don’t think it’s the most comfortable or practical solution to a handlebar as there are no mirrors but a lidar display to indicate oncoming traffic. This is absolutely no ground to complain as the imaginative render continues to suggest that the scooter market could witness exciting times ahead.
Its distinctive headlamp and tail lamp positioning pays homage to the old-school scooter cool. Mighyseed Designs states that the Vespa 48 concept’s hub-mounted motor is coupled to a 30Ah lithium-ion. With a huge underseat storage, it is in fact a perfect choice (in terms of a scooter) for a single person’s holiday trip.