Vespa 946 Emporio Armani vs LX 125 Comparison Review

Vespa LX 125 vs 946 Emporio Armani Edition Comparison Review:

Pricing & Features: 
The Vespa 946 (a.k.a. ‘Quarantasei’) Emporio Armani edition, retails for a mind-numbing 13.5 Lakh Rs. on road, Mumbai. The Vespa LX 125 on the other hand has a sticker price of just 79,000 Rs, which makes it a sensible 12.5 Lakh Rs. cheaper than the 946!

In terms of equipment, the 946 gets bigger 12inch Wheels, ABS and Traction Control, Disc Brakes at the Front as well as Rear, LED Headlamps & a cheap little digital Instrument Cluster over the LX 125.

Price, On Road, Mumbai:

Vespa 946 Emporio Armani: 13.5 Lakh Rs
Vespa LX 125: 79,000 Rs

Performance & Tractability: 
The Vespa 946 shares the same powertrain as the LX 125, with surprisingly little modifications. On top of that, the 946 is a good 32 kgs heavier than the LX 125, making it noticeably slower than the LX, especially while accelerating from standstill. Both scooters also fall short on refinement, with a coarse and clattery exhaust note.

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Vespa 946 Emporio Armani - 80, Vespa LX 125 - 88 (difference 10%)
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Vespa 946 Emporio Armani - 71, Vespa LX 125 - 93 (difference 31%) 

Power (PS@rpm): Vespa 946 Emporio Armani - 11.7@8750, Vespa LX 125 – 10.06@7500
Torque (Nm@rpm): Vespa 946 Emporio Armani - 10.3@7750, Vespa LX 125 – 10.6@6000
Kerb Weight (kg): Vespa 946 Emporio Armani - 146, Vespa LX 125 - 114

Displacement (cc): Vespa 946 Emporio Armani - 125, Vespa LX 125 – 125

Handling & Ride Quality: 
The 946 has a longer wheelbase, wider tyres and bigger wheels than the LX 125. This obviously makes the 946 better than the LX 125. 946's Europe specific suspension setup feels slightly stiffer than the india specific setup of the LX 125, but in spite of that the overall ride quality better on the 946, especially at higher speeds, where it maintains better composure and gold it's line better. Handling to is much better on the 946, with outstanding grip around the bends and excellent agility as well. However, in spite of its stratospheric price tag the 946 still doesn't get telescopic suspension. Therefore, even though it may be better than the LX, overall it is not even good as it's own stable-mate, the Aprilia SR 150. Heck, even the humble TVS Wego and Jupiter are dynamically more adept than the 946.

Tyre Size:
Front: Vespa 946 Emporio Armani – 120/70R12, Vespa LX 125 – 90/90R11
Rear: Vespa 946 Emporio Armani – 130/70R12, Vespa LX 125 – 90/100R10

Wheelbase (mm): Vespa 946 Emporio Armani – 1350, Vespa LX 125 – 1290

Comfort & Ergonomics: 
The 946 is available with the option of either the marvelous floating single seat or a slightly extended version of it, which is supposed to be a double seat. Not only does the add-on extension greatly reduce the floating look of the seat, but it is too small to be of any use, except for the most anorexic of the pillions. It is best to go solo if you ever happen to afford the luxury of owning a 946. The LX 125 on the other hand has a conventional perch, which is also inadequate for anybody apart from cozy couples. The lack of a flat floorboard is also a limiting factor in terms of practicality for both the scooters. Although you won't really be carrying gas cylinders on the 946's floorboard anyways.

Seat Height (mm): Vespa 946 Emporio Armani - 805, Vespa LX 125 - 770

Fuel Efficiency: 
In our back to back tests, the LX 125 was consistently 2 kmpl more efficient than the 946. This translates to a difference of 28,000 Rs. in fuel costs, over a usage of 60,000 kilometers.

Test Fuel Efficiency: Vespa 946 Emporio Armani - 33, Vespa LX 125 – 35 kmpl

Fuel Cost (for usage of 60,000 km):
Vespa 946 Emporio Armani - 1.29 Lakh Rs.
Vespa LX 125 - 1.21 Lakh Rs.

Reliability & After Sales Service:  
Piaggio needs to get its act together, when it comes to the durability and service support of its scooters. Vespa remains the least hassle free of all the modern scooter brands in the market, and the 946, with its imported parts and inadequately trained technicians, is bound to be a real nightmare to maintain.

Resale & Cost of Ownership: 
Judging the resale value of a Vespa 946 after a usage of 5 to 7 years cannot be anything more than a wild guess. Nevertheless, you would be lucky to get anything more than 2.5 Lakh rupees on the used bike market in 2022. The LX 125 on the other hand is bound to fetch around 35,000 Rs. after similar period of usage.

Overall, though the Vespa 946 works out to be a ridiculous 10 Lakh Rs. more expensive than the LX 125, in terms of overall ownership costs!

Resale Price (after 5 - 7 years & 60,000 km):
Vespa 946 Emporio Armani - 2.5 Lakh Rs.
Vespa LX 125 - 35,000 Rs.

Total Cost of Ownership (Price + Fuel Cost - Resale Price):
Vespa 946 Emporio Armani - 12.3 Lakh Rs.
Vespa LX 125 - 1.65 Lakh Rs.

Verdict:
Frankly, there is no logical reason to pay 12 Lakh Rs. over a LX 125 for the 946. Forget about flaunting its style, most people aren't even going to be able to differentiate it from other Vespas. What's even worse id that it is going to be even more underwhelming for the rider, since it is less powerful as well as less torquey than the LX. It is hard to imagine what the folks at Vespa were snorting when they decided to launch this beauty as a CBU import in India. Forget about buying it, you would be lucky even if you got to actually see one on the road.

We can't help but consider a scenario, in which Piaggio could have localised the production of the 946 in India. The powertrain is same as the LX 125 so half the job is already done, vendors in India are easily capable of providing the cycleparts, and the monocoque chassis and body panels would require new tools and higher standards of fit-finish. Even then the price would not exceed that of a Royal Enfield Thunderbird or a KTM Duke 390 and they would have still have no direct rival for probably the next 50 years.

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