I’ve got a question. At what point do we stop calling the Lambretta V-Special “The New Lambretta”? For the classic Lambretta rider, I suspect it will always be ‘The New Lambretta.”
Anyway, here’s some rather nice photography from the official Facebook page (I’m sure they won’t mind). Any of my readers got one of these? Care to share your experience of owning and riding one? And one last question for Classic Lambretta lovers, (who I suspect make up the majority of my visitors) who were initially sceptical of the “New Lambretta” is the V-Special ‘growing on you’ at all yet? If not, what would it take to change your mind?
I love my classic Lambretta. But if I could have a modern scooter as well, there’s only one option.
A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing through the Scooter Restorations site, as I often do when I have a spare ten minutes. I’ve posted a few desirable rare Lambrettas for sale on the blog. Now, I know they specialise in ‘rare’ Lambretta parts, from the model A onwards… But I noticed they had (a few) parts for a Lambretta Amiga. A Lambretta that it never even made it to production. In fact, even pictures of it are rare… although there does appear to be a prototype in the Museo de la Industria Armera in Eibar, Spain. (If the name Eibar doesn’t ring a bell, it probably should, it’s the industrial town in the spanish Basque Country – Euskadi – where Lambretta’s were manufactured (sometimes under the name Serveta).
So it’s rare. We’ve established that. But is it desirable? Well, maybe. But I would hazard a guess at ‘only to a completist’ or only to people really into 80’s/90’s design.
Spanish machines are increasingly sought after in the UK, the Eibar Lambretta Winter Model and Serveta Jet 200 being particularly prized. The last real model to roll off the production line was the Serveta Lince (Spanish for Lynx), which was still very recognisably a Lambretta – albeit – like a 60’s pop star with a facelift and a spray-tan – a Lambretta with a distinctly 80’s make-over. I wrote about the Lince back in 2013 – here – since then my opinions on many things have mellowed, but sadly not my rather forthright views on the Vespa PX. Anyway I digress. Not like me is it? Back to The Lince. Sadly, although a modest success (over 1,500 made) the Lince was not going to secure the future of Spanish Lambretta production. So it was back the the drawing board, and in 1987, it probably was still designed on a drawing board, CAD being in it’s infancy. I’ll tell you one thing though, they made good use of their rulers that day.
The Amiga was Spain’s attempt to take The Lambretta brand into the ’90s… and one thing you can definitely say of The Lambretta Amiga was that it’s of it’s time. In typical late 80’s fashion anything resembling a sensuous curve was squared off – it was straight lines all the way, baby. And it wasn’t the only product they had in mind either, there was a rather funky looking trike – The Lambretta Tron – and an Lambro/Vespa Ape type commercial vehicle – The Motocarro Lambretta. The Tron even made it to prototype stage – I can feel another post coming on.
Back to the Amiga. Although it never made it past the prototype stage, there was big talk at the time of The Amiga being “The New Lambretta”. I remember reading an article about it (probably in Scootering) and being absolutely horrified – having a real “What the fuck have they done” moment, and thinking it was like a stormtrooper crossed with a Honda Melody. And not in a good way. (The design of the Honda Melody has aged pretty well, actually, but back in the late 80’s, to any Lambretta or Vespa rider the words Honda and Melody were about the worst insults you could throw at a machine). Anyway. I’ve waffled on far too long. There’s some Amiga bits on eBay, here. Basically, a frame (with some bits bolted on – the fuel tank and the rear shock), the forks and front wheel, and the headset, including the distinctive speedo. There’s no bodywork, seat or engine, although I’d imagine a standard Lambretta/Serveta lump would fit.
A final note, I’m pretty sure that when I originally looked, Scooter Restorations had an Amiga speedometer in stock. It’s now showing as “out of stock”. Which begs the question… “Who bought it?” and “Why?” Is someone out there building an Amiga? I’d love to know! If it’s you, please get in touch, I love to know more!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about the New Lambretta… The Vendetta, or V-Special as it is variously known. News has been a little thin on the ground, although I’ve spotted more than a few buzzing around. long term readers will know I’m more of a ‘classic’ man, but you’ve got to admit, if you’re in the market for a modern scooter, you won’t get a better looking one than a Lambretta… These images are from the Lambretta UK site.
You know that it’s being regarded as a ‘proper’ Lambretta when a company as well regarded as The Rimini Lambretta Centre gets involved – and, in the spirit of the great scooter dealers of the 60’s, makes a “Dealer Special” …and very nice it looks too. Check out their website, a must for all Lambretta fans,
Finally, for now, are some V-Specials in GP based paint, that seems to be an option for the Asian market only – for the time being at least. I’m sure there would be a great demand for them in the rest of the world too. I’m a particular fan of the grey. From the Nuova Lambretta Facebook page.
So, do you have a “Nuova Lambretta”? How are you getting on with it? Have you customised it? Got any pictures you want featured on the blog? Get in touch!
UPDATE: I’ve added a list of New Lambretta dealers (starting with the UK), here.
I’ve had this image leaked to me by a trusted source within Lambretta – apparently, it’s one of the first images of the rumoured new Lambretta – with a ‘ghost light’ feature – when you approach the scooter, it projects a Lambretta logo onto the ground! Pretty cool!
The rumour is of a pretty powerful power unit too – up to 325cc!! Expect a few tweaks to the look of the scooter too – an evolution of the current “V Special” design.
If you like your pictures a little more move-y, here’s a couple of short movies. I think the scoot in the Casa Performance Race Livery looks fantastic. If any of the models on the stand is going to win over a few of the sceptics, it’s that ‘un.
Some pics of the New Lambretta Vendetta at EICMA (the annual trade show for motorcycles in Milan).
Looks pretty good, even sans totty…
Looking good in Race Livery…
New official Lambretta helmets… colour matched to the new models. I suspect these will go down well, even with hardcore traditionalists
A new flagship carbon fibre model…
Like their forebears, there are now some official accessories, racks, screens and more.
That’s it for now. I think the quality of ‘fit and finish’ on project Vendetta is becoming plain to see. More pics, with details of how you can get hold of one, and how much it’s going to cost you, coming soon.
Love these design concept renderings for the new Lambretta Vendetta by Kiska, Europe’s largest independent design agency, who had the task of creating a modern version of the world’s finest motor scooter. They had a tough brief… they were told:
NOT to ‘go retro’… but instead find out the core Lambretta DNA and develop that.
Appeal to new generation of Lambrettisti
Less is more – but use simplicity in design to extend functionality
Use premium materials – more metal, less plastic*
Well, I think they’ve nailed that brief. Initial feedback from the launch of the Vendetta has been generally excellent. There have been grumblings from some of the ‘old school’, but even they have admitted ‘it wasn’t designed for them’.
There will always be a place for the classic Lambretta, and there are innovations today than ever to keep our magnificent machines on the road. But the Vendetta is a Lambretta for the 21st century, to take on the likes of the Vespa 946. I think it meets that niche admirably!
A couple of things I’ve picked up on the new Lambretta Vendetta… here’s a close up of the LCD headlight display unit. Interesting to see the the Bluetooth icon, showing Bluetooth connectivity. There’s an App that comes with your new Lambretta too, apparently.
See the official specs below,
Lights; LED lights feature all round, including the indicators.
Engine Capacity; The Vendetta will come in three capacities, The V50, V125, and V200.
Brakes; The V50 has a front disk brake, and a rear drum. The V125 disks front and rear with a combined braking system (CBS), and the V200 disks front and Rear with a Bosch ABS System.
Flex front mudguard; As with classic Lambrettas (since the LD and LC anyway) the Vendetta features a fixed front fender (or mudguard as we tend to call it in the UK). Except when it doesn’t. There is a ‘flex’ model on all capacities, with a turning front mudguard. For those who prefer a more ‘Spanish’ look I suppose :). One oddity is that the flex models are available in different colours to the standard ‘Specials’.
Storage; There’s a large luggage area under the seat, a luggage hog in front of the seat, and a glove box integrated into the legshields. I have also seen images showing traditional ‘sprint rack’ like rear carriers.
Metal, NOT Plastic. The chassis is STEEL bodywork, on a tubular frame. The side-panels are double-layered, with a 1.2mm steel middle beam that stretches to the sides in a ‘airplane profile architecture’. Make no mistake, this is a solid, premium METAL scooter.
Attention to detail. The new Lambretta appears to have been finished to a very high standard. This is not a cheap and nasty scooter. Take the detailing on the seat, for example.
Pricing. To be announced. But I would expect it will be similar to a top of the range offering from Piaggio.
I’m sure more information will appear. In the meantime, check out the official website, here.
Just some (more) pics for the moment of the first, new, official model Lambretta since the 1970’s. (remember where you saw the first ‘unofficial’ pic folks!) I’m sure there are going to be lots of thoughts and opinions on this one… My initial reactions are that it’s obviously a modern scooter, not a slavish reproduction of a classic lambretta, but, like the reinventions of the Mini, and the Beetle for the 21st century, it includes enough ‘nods’ to the past to be clearly a Lambretta.
The lines are bold and sharp… it has an aggressive, no nonsense stance…that looks like it’s going fast even when standing still.
There are more pics and analysis over at ScooterLab