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EU: Piaggio reveals 3-wheel scooter lineup

The revised Piaggio MP3, the original and world’s best-selling three-wheel scooter, has been enhanced with greater performance and more comfort, along with improvements to the design and finish.

The Piaggio 350cc engine (with more than 30 HP) makes its first appearance in the MP3 family, while the 500cc unit now offers more performance and even greater fuel efficiency.

Highlights of the models are as follows:

Piaggio MP3 350:

  • New 350 cc engine
  • New windshield
  • New saddle
  • New finishing
  • New equipment
  • New grid design on the front shield
  • Wavy front brake discs

Piaggio MP3 500 hpe Sport and Business:

  • New hpe engine with increased performance
  • New windshield
  • New saddle
  • New finishing
  • New equipment
  • New grid design on the front shield
  • New rear gas shock absorbers (for the Sport version)
  • Wavy front brake discs (for Sport version)
  • TomTom Vio navigator standard (for the Business version)

Through the MP3, Piaggio has skillfully reinvented city transport. The Piaggio MP3 is the world’s first three-wheel scooter, a concrete response to the demand for easy-to-handle, extremely safe city vehicles that can get about in the city or reach the city center from the ever-growing suburbs. The two front wheels and the exclusive patented suspension system joining them combine the safety of a car with the simplicity and practicality of a scooter and the fun of a motor cycle with dynamic riding when turning. Therefore Piaggio MP3 is able to satisfy a truly global demand: from drivers looking for a more practical yet safe alternative to the experienced motorcyclist able to appreciate the advantages and technical features of a vehicle that has, on its own, created a new market segment of which it is the undisputed leader.

The new Piaggio MP3 range makes its début

  • Piaggio MP3 350 (new)
  • Piaggio MP3 500 hpe Sport (new)
  • Piaggio MP3 500 hpe Business (new)

The new Piaggio MP3 range is the ultimate expression of technological excellence applied to the scooters of the Piaggio Group. The 350 and 500cc engines are capable of meeting all the needs of city and rural transport and are now even more enjoyable to ride. The range-topping Piaggio MP3 500 hpe is offered as two spec variants – Sport and Business – with different colors and features, as before, but now with even more generous standard equipment, while the Piaggio MP3 350 is offered as a single variant with the same choice of colors as the Piaggio MP3 500 hpe Sport. All models can only be driven with a car driver’s licence. The shared objective of the restyling wasn’t just to increase performance and make for a more enjoyable ride but also to ensure that the models would be more comfortable, better equipped and more pleasant to see and own.

The modern, elegant look of the Piaggio MP3 makes overt references to the world of cars and shares the refined finish and high perception of quality common to that world. The Centro Stile of the Piaggio Group has redesigned the grid on the front shield, for a more modern feel, and the (LED) blinkers are also new. New comfort features include a new tinted windshield, offering even more wind protection, integrated hand guards and a new saddle with more comfortable foam padding different stitching. These important details, paired with the already perfect triangulation of the handlebar-saddle-floorboard, underscore the greater focus of the new Piaggio MP3 on tourism and extended everyday driving. Great attention was given to the comfort of the passenger, who will now have a more comfortable section of the saddle and a redesigned backrest, as well as two new and more ergonomic handles. The passenger will therefore be able to sit in a relaxed, non-contracted, position on the saddle thanks in part to the extractable footpegs. The large container beneath the saddle, equipped with a courtesy light and carpet, was designed for a maximal range of uses; the roughly rectangular shape, without steps or separators, ensures that every square centimeter can be used. There’s room to comfortably fit two full-face helmets or a computer bag. The electric saddle lock may also be released from the remote control unit by using the Bike Finder function (which activates the turn indicators to help locate the vehicle), while opening and closing the saddle is assisted safely and securely by a practical gas strut. The dashboard includes a modern set of instruments in two conventional round panels and a multi-purpose digital panel with data on fuel consumption (average and current), average and maximum speed, fuel gauge, travel time, ambient temperature and ice alarm. The instrument panel also includes a clock, total and trip counter and battery voltage reader. The 11 lights on the instrument panel display the functioning of the headlights, dipped headlights, indicators, reserve fuel, oil pressure, warning (injection), immobilizer, ABS, ASR and four emergency lights. In the centre part, just beneath the display, a series of 4 warning lights are placed which indicate: roll lock warning, engine shut-down, no roll and hand brake. Push buttons under the handlebars are to open the saddle and switch off the ASR.

The leg shield back plate has two anti-impact pads the color of the saddle in front of the rider’s knees. There is also a convenient, retractable bag hook. The compartment above the instruments has a drawer and USB connection, ideal for recharging a smartphone and any other enabled device.

Piaggio MP3 500 hpe Business

Piaggio MP3 500 hpe Business

The elegant, metropolitan Business variant version is distinguished by numerous premium details, such as the new tailpipe guard, the chrome finish accent on the front leg plate grille and the matte grey finish of the wheels and center tunnel. Standard equipment also includes Vio, the first TomTom navigator designed for scooters: accurately built into the handlebar. The navigator can be charged using the USB port on the leg shield back plate and can be removed if necessary. The colors offered for the Piaggio MP3 500 hpe Business underscore the elegance of the scooter, with: Bianco Iceberg, Nero Universo, Grigio Opaco and a new Blu Opaco.

Piaggio MP3 500 hpe Sport

Piaggio MP3 500 hpe Sport

The Sport version of the Piaggio MP3 500 hpe differs visually from its siblings with a number of details with a matte black finish, such as the tailpipe tip guard, the wheels, the profile of the grid on the front shield and the passenger grab handles. A further sporty touch is given by the water transfer printing on the central tunnel and on the button panel of the leg shield back plate.

From a technical standpoint, the biggest news is the introduction of a pair of Kayaba high performance rear gas shock absorbers. Flaunting a sporty red finish, these components increase traction and stability, and soak up bumps in the road even more effectively to improve both comfort and safety. Other standard features include front wavy brake discs and aluminum accents on the footboard.

There are five dedicated color schemes for the Sport version: with three matte colors – Carbonio Black, Grey and Green – and two gloss colors – classic pastel White and the new pastel Grey.

Piaggio MP3 350

Piaggio MP3 350

The new 350cc engine replaces the 300cc engine, offering significantly superior performance. The finishings of the Piaggio MP3 350 are similar to those of the Piaggio MP3 500 Sport and include numerous matt black items, including the 5 split spoke tyre rims. Front wavy brake discs are fitted as standard, while the red paint finish of the shock absorbers accentuates the dynamic character of the scooter. There are five dedicated colour schemes for the 350 version: Black, Grey and Green, all three matte, besides the classic pastel White and the new pastel Grey, both glossy.

The Piaggio 500 hpe engine: more enjoyable and increased performance

Piaggio’s “half litre” engine is proverbially robust and reliable. The single-cylinder 500, 4-valve, liquid cooled engine is fed by electronic injection; it is the most powerful engine in its class and adopts a “Ride-by-Wire” multi-map electronic accelerator that provides smoother performance at lower speeds and making the MP3 easier to ride. The rider is free to change the engine map by using a button on the handle to choose between heightened performance and reduced consumption. The new Piaggio MP3 500 is equipped with the latest evolution of the single-cylinder engine, dubbed hpe (High Performance Engine). The changes made have increased performance and reduced fuel consumption, but also improved the exhaust note. The single camshaft timing system with roller tappets has gained a new camshaft profile with different valve lift times. The intake line can rely on a new and more generous filter box that optimizes the air/fuel ratio, thereby improving torque at low speeds and guaranteeing exceptionally fluid movement at any pace. The transmission cover is also new, while the finishings of the engine’s external housing have been improved. The result is an 14% increase in power over the former unit, with a maximum crankshaft power output of 44.2 hp. Featuring a new silencer, the exhaust system of the Piaggio MP3 500 hpe reduces perceived noise levels and produces an optimized, sportier exhaust note.

The Piaggio 350 engine: minimal footprint, great performance

The 350 cc, 4-stroke, 4-valve, liquid cooling, electronic injection engine makes its début on the Piaggio MP3 and represents the state of the art in maxi-scooter engines. Already appreciated on the Piaggio Beverly 350, it is considered one of the best engines ever built for the segment since it offers performance comparable to a 400 cc, with the limited weight and footprint of a 300 cc engine.

The head-engine block-piston assembly was designed for the ultimate optimization of fluid dynamics using solutions capable of increasing performance and at the same time reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The stroke ratio (69 mm x 78 mm) was selected to guarantee improved output for lower speeds and partial loads and to provide greater elasticity of use. The reed valve, dry-sump lubrication system reduces both loss of power due to sloshing as well as the size of the oil pan and engine footprint. Special attention was focused on reducing internal friction: roller rockers are used to reduce noise and increase mechanical efficiency. The Piaggio 350 single-cylinder is the first scooter engine to adopt a motorcycle multi plate wet clutch to ensure better and more consistent performance even with elevated thermal stress, eliminating the possible jolts common to transmission systems when starting and ensuring an extraordinary driving experience. Such technical solutions, along with the automatic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), which was developed ad hoc, have brought about a weight reduction of about 10 kg compared to a 400. Crankshaft performance is very high: maximum power is over 30 hp.

Ultimate safety: three wheels, ABS and ASR

The three new Piaggio MP3 models use an ABS system integrated with ASR (Acceleration Slip Regulation). The ASR (first brought to scooters by Piaggio) can be easily disconnected and guarantees safety by keeping the rear wheel from slipping on dangerous surfaces like wet asphalt.

The three channel ABS system, developed in collaboration with Continental, maximizes active safety preventing wheel blockage when braking and providing full control of the vehicle at all times. The Piaggio MP3 employs an all-disc braking system on the three wheels, with a disc diameter of no less than 258 mm. Greater safety and an even smoother ride are provided by the large 13 inch diameter front wheels.

The Piaggio MP3 also owes its success to exclusive patented Piaggio technology for the dual independent, tilting front wheels regulated by a unique four bar linkage suspension, which the leading Group in Europe designed and developed before any other manufacturer in the world to ensure maximum riding pleasure in complete safety. The roll mechanism is made up of four fused aluminum arms linked to four hinges that are firmly connected to the central sleeve, and two side sleeves connected to the arms by means of pivots and ball bearings. Inside the side sleeves, the right-hand and left-hand steering tube rotates in a classic single-arm set-up.

The blocking mechanism for the front suspension, a distinguishing feature of the 3-wheel Italian scooter, transforms the balance of the Piaggio MP3 from dynamic to static. Start up the Piaggio MP3 and it stays in balance on the three wheels without the need for a stand (fitted nonetheless). To resume normal operation accelerate or use the dedicated push button. This means you never need to put your foot in the ground and you can park the Piaggio MP3 anywhere, easily and without effort.

Piaggio multimedia platform connected at all times by smartphone

The sophisticated Piaggio Multimedia Platform, available from among the many accessories for the Piaggio MP3 illustrated in the catalogue, connects your smartphone to the on-board electronic system, turning it into a multi-purpose instrument: a computer able to simultaneously display such data as speed, revs, engine power and torque in real time, as well as acceleration in a straight line, tilt in cornering, average and current fuel consumption, average speed and battery voltage among a host of other functions. A smartphone connected with the Piaggio Multimedia Platform can also be used to display maps and routes or to find the location, for example, of petrol stations or support services. The tire condition control function synergistically exploits the vehicle’s sensors and the smartphone to monitor tire wear and inflation, immediately warning the user before potentially critical situations arise, while the general analysis function allows overall vehicle condition check.

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