Lambretta, 80s and 90s kids will have heard this name. A "Lumretta" (as was pronounced with love back then) was much popular in India for a long time, a long time ago when our fathers or grandfathers owned one of these iconic Italian scooters. The brand has its roots in Milan, Italy and the scooters were assembled in India under licence from the 1950s into the early ’90s. The assembly rights first rested with Automobile Products of India (API) and then subsequently with Scooters India Limited (SIL). The scooters have remained absent from the global market for over two decades, following financial difficulties with Innocenti, which shut production in 1972. It was acquired by British Leyland Motor Corporation, and later re-emerged as Innocenti S.A. Now though, Lambretta is making a comeback! Three new scooters bearing the Lambretta badge were unveiled at EICMA 2017 held at Milan.
The three scooters in question are the new V Special range - V50 Special, V125 Special and V200 Special. The word special was used four times in the last sentence, well because these scooters might just be... special. Lambretta for Indian buyers will hold a strong feeling of nostalgia. You may have heard the Bollywood song called 'Hoga tumse kal bhi saamna' from a very popular film 'An Evening in Paris'. Shammi Kapoor rode a Lambretta scooter as did all of his mates in a large ride along.
The three scooters will have different engine capacities and will come in two variants - Fixed fender and Flex fender. Engines are available in three sizes: 50cc, 125cc and 200cc. The new range of Lambretta scooters will be manufactured in Taiwan and are to go on sale in Europe by early 2018, eventually launching in other markets by June next year.
The scooters will carry a blend of modern as well as vintage design cues. They have been designed by KISKA, a renowned Austrian studio responsible for some striking designs, including KTM. The new scooters were styled with consultation from Lambretta enthusiasts. They come with a steel body, forged aluminium parts and replaceable side-panels – now available in carbon fibre upon request.
Lambretta V-Special scooters will also feature modern components, such as disc brakes front and back, full LED lamps all around, Bluetooth connectivity and a digital display that brings the original instrumentation into the 21st century topped with an analogue speedometer.
Prices for the three have been settled upon, for the European markets. The V50 special costs $3,250, the V125 starts at $3,940, and the V200 goes for $4,640. Lambretta scooters are likely to arrive in India, but most likely not before 2019. According to an Autocar India report, company representatives at EICMA said that a manufacturing/assembly set-up is preferred for India (keeping in mind costs and volumes). If the scooters are manufactured in India, the price tags may not run wild.