A TRUE ICON OF METROPOLITAN MOBILITY AND UNDISPUTED MARKET LEADER, THE PIAGGIO THREE-WHEELED SCOOTER HAS BEEN TOTALLY REVAMPED AND RAISES THE TECHNOLOGICAL BAR
UNPRECEDENTED LEVELS OF COMFORT, SAFETY AND HIGH-TECH EQUIPMENT AND FEATURES: THE NEW PIAGGIO MP3 IS THE WORLD'S FIRST SCOOTER WITH ARAS ADVANCED RIDER ASSISTANCE SYSTEMS, DEVELOPED BY PIAGGIO FAST FORWARD
NEW SPORTS DESIGN, 7” TFT INSTRUMENT PANEL, KEYLESS START, CONNECTIVITY WITH NAVIGATION AND, ON THE 530 HPE EXCLUSIVE VERSION, THERE'S EVEN CRUISE CONTROL AND REVERSE MODE WITH REAR VIEW CAMERA
THREE VERSIONS POWERED BY TWO ENGINES: THE 400 HPE WITH MORE THAN 35 HP AND THE BRAND NEW 530 HPE WITH OVER 44 HP
The year was 2006 when Piaggio introduced a vehicle on the market that would forever change the face of urban and metropolitan mobility: Piaggio MP3 was the first and inimitable three-wheeled scooter in the world, with the exclusive patented suspension system that connects them combine the safety of a car with the simplicity and practicality of a scooter and the fun of a dynamic motorcycle ride on a twisty road.
Piaggio MP3 created a new market segment where it has remained the undisputed leader, thanks to constant technological development. It is a sixteen year long success story measured by the over 230,000 vehicles sold thus far, but which is even more overwhelming when we consider its popularity with a global and transverse public, from car drivers looking for a more practical and increasingly safer alternative - Piaggio MP3 can be driven with just a car driver's license - to advanced motorcycle riders who are capable of exploiting the advantages and technical features of a unique vehicle.
The Piaggio MP3 has now been completely revamped with a design that is now sportier than ever and even more automotive in inspiration, while innovative high-tech features take comfort to unprecedented new heights.
The highest representation of the technological excellence applied to Piaggio Group scooters from the beginning, the Piaggio MP3 is the world's first scooter featuring ARAS Advanced Rider Assistance Systems, with an innovative suite of rider aid functions based on Imaging Radar 4D technology developed by Piaggio Fast Forward, the Piaggio Group's robotics subsidiary operating in Boston, USA. On top of all this are a feature-packed full colour 7” TFT instrument panel, the largest in the segment, keyless start, connectivity with navigation and, on the 530 hpe Exclusive version, cruise control and a reverse function with rear view camera.
Made in Italy in Piaggio's Pontedera plant, the models in the new Piaggio MP3 range feature the modern powerplants in the hpe - High Performance Engine family: The Piaggio MP3 400 hpe and Piaggio MP3 400 hpe Sport share the 400 cc variant with over 35 HP, while the range-topping Piaggio MP3 530 hpe Exclusive features the all new 530 hpe unit, with a record power output for this class of over 44 HP.
And let's not forget that the Piaggio MP3 300 hpe is also part of the range, featuring the same three-wheel technology but characterised by more compact dimensions and performance dedicated expressly to city mobility.
The MP3's unmistakeable design evolves to a sportier look
Although maintaining the iconic look that makes it unmistakeable, in terms of style, the new Piaggio MP3 makes a clean break from the past. The broader and more protective front has been completely redesigned and now features a new, horizontal light cluster with full LED technology. With the radiator moved to the lower part of the vehicle, between the front wheels and the footboard, a smaller and sportier air intake opens up at the centre of the front shield, characterised by a three-dimensional honeycomb grille. Below this is a spoiler that develops vertically, the result of a careful aerodynamic study aimed at ensuring greater stability and which acts as an element of separation between the wheels. The wheel arches leave the wheels mostly exposed, featuring fenders colour coded to match the body which provide continuity with the rest of the vehicle. The windscreen is also new with a shape designed to guarantee maximum protection with limited bulk.
The new model boasts many cues inspired by the latest trends in automotive design, such as the more imposing, sportier front fascia and turn indicators integrated into the wheel arches. This trend is even more visible as you look towards the rear end, with its taut lines that lead to the taillight unit, a unique, full LED horizontal element with built-in turn indicators, below which an original, extractor type profile opens up. The tail is generally more compact and sleek: the all-new position of the license plate holder on the mudguard, a solution making its first appearance on the Piaggio MP3, contributes further to the extremely lean, uncluttered look of the tail.
In line with the sportier design, the wheel rims maintain the characteristic, twin five-spoke design, but with tighter and sharper lines.
From the driver's seat, the attention to detail and extreme rationalisation of the controls is immediately apparent: the brand new 7” full colour TFT display is at the centre, the largest in the three-wheeled scooter segment, whereas the handlebar controls have been completely revamped in line with motorcycle logic, all to the advantage of functionality and ergonomics. The other controls are positioned on the dashboard, which has also been refined with the goal of creating a functional environment, carefully studied to be user friendly, exactly like the dashboard of a luxury car.
Ergonomics have been improved across the board: first and foremost, the driving position has been made more comfortable with slight, but significant changes to the seat-footboard-handlebar triangulation. The handlebar has been moved back and raised 10 mm, whereas the footboard, more comfortable, has been lowered 20 mm. This translates into a more relaxed position and greater control over the vehicle for the driver. The seat is completely new, both for the driver and for the passenger, who benefits from more longitudinal space and a higher grab handle with a more comfortable grip. The numerous ergonomic improvements also include the new parking brake control. The lever, positioned higher up on the leg shield back plate, close to the ignition switch, is now more conveniently located, making it easier to operate.
The leg shield back plate has two anti-impact pads the colour 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.
The large under-seat compartment, complete with courtesy light and mat, is designed to ensure maximum usage; the roughly rectangular shape, without layers or separators, ensures that every square centimetre can be used. There's room to comfortably fit two full-face helmets or a computer bag. The seat opens electrically, even from the remote control and from the PIAGGIO MIA app, with power-assisted shock absorber for smooth, safe opening and closing.
Latest generation user interface
One of the characterising elements of the new generation Piaggio MP3 is undoubtedly the man-machine interface. The driver benefits from a brand new 7” full colour TFT display, the largest in the three-wheeled scooter segment, and from controls developed based on an entirely new logic in order to view all the available information and manage the numerous features more easily.
In the main area of the display, the primary information - speedometer, rev counter, fuel level, and engine coolant temperature - can be viewed in two different versions, analogue or digital. Daylight or night time backlighting is automatic, thanks to a twilight sensor, or it can be adjusted manually in the settings.
The large size of the display means that even more legible and bold graphics could be used. All the trip information (total and partial odometer, average speed, instantaneous and average consumption, range) are grouped on the right side, as are all the call and message notifications and navigation indications of the PIAGGIO MIA system.
Thanks to the practical four-button joystick (UP-DOWN-LEFT-RIGHT) on the new left-hand control block, navigating within the display is always extremely easy and intuitive.
The PIAGGIO MIA connectivity system (optional on the 400 hpe version) and the dedicated Piaggio app - available for download in the App Store or Google Play - allow iOS or Android devices to be connected via Bluetooth to Piaggio MP3, extending the functions of the instrument panel. PIAGGIO MIA includes both the infotainment system for management of the voice assistant, phone calls and music via the practical joystick on the left-hand control block, and the GPS function, thanks to which the rider can view directions directly on the instrument panel once a destination is set on the smartphone. To fully enjoy all these features, Piaggio MP3 offers a special dedicated Jet helmet as an accessory that integrates headphones and Bluetooth intercom.
In addition to the navigation features, phone call management and music management, the PIAGGIO MIA multimedia platform exploits the full potential of the new colour TFT instrumentation, letting the driver view a plethora of information directly on the display concerning the route taken and the vehicle's condition, including histograms of the average speed and consumption or the power and torque curves with the value show in real time. All the information is also recorded by the App and can be consulted on the smartphone through summary statistics for each trip and intuitive infographics. The App also lets you use your smartphone to conveniently activate the Bike Finder and Follow Me functions, which respectively make the turn indicators flash and the horn blow to easily find your vehicle even in the most crowded car parks and the low beam lights, as well as a convenient system that saves the position when the ignition is switched off to help you find your scooter easily even in the most chaotic areas of the city.
Also on the user interface front, all the models in the new Piaggio MP3 range feature the keyless system, which lets you activate the ignition without having to insert the traditional key, simplifying all the operations like starting the engine, opening the seat and the fuel door and locking the steering column, all of which can be done with the remote control conveniently in your pocket. On the leg shield back plate, the classic ignition key switch is replaced by a practical knob: to start the vehicle, simple press it (thereby activating the start enable signal, indicated by a welcome message on the TFT display) and turn it to the ON position. Starting the engine is accomplished as usual with the button located on the right-hand control bock.
Piaggio MP3 530 hpe Exclusive: a concentrate of technology
The flagship of the new Piaggio MP3 range, the 530 hpe Exclusive version, takes an unprecedented leap forward in the history of Piaggio MP3 advancements, despite the numerous significant innovations that have been made throughout. In fact, the Piaggio MP3 530 hpe Exclusive is the world's first scooter featuring ARAS Advanced Rider Assistance Systems.
The innovative riding assistance platform is based on Imaging Radar 4D technology and was first developed by Piaggio Fast Forward, the Piaggio Group's robotics subsidiary, founded in 2015 and operating in Boston, USA.
It is the first time that these cutting-edge sensors - lodged at the centre of the extractor, beneath the taillight unit - have been implemented for use on a scooter which, compared with a car, also has the significant variable of the lean angle when cornering. The advantages with respect to a traditional driving assistance system based on ultrasound sensors, lie in an extremely broad field of vision and in reliable monitoring no matter what the lighting and environmental conditions may be.
The ARAS devices on the Piaggio MP3 530 Exclusive play a fundamental role in active safety, guaranteeing the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and Lane Change Decision Aid System (LCDAS) functions. The BLIS notifies the driver of the presence of vehicles in the rear view mirror blind spot using specific notices on the TFT display. Constantly monitoring the rear area at a distance of up to 30-35 metres, the LCDAS is also capable of identifying the vehicles which are approaching quickly laterally, creating a potential risk situation in the event that the driver indicates the intent to change lanes. In this case, the driver is also notified through a specific notice on the instrument panel.
Piaggio MP3 530 hpe Exclusive also features reverse gear. Introduced by Piaggio for the first time on a three-wheeled scooter in 2019, on Piaggio MP3 500 hpe Sport Advanced, reverse gear is still an exclusive feature of Piaggio MP3 and it now includes a rear video camera which allows for even easier and safer use.
Reverse gear with the rear video camera further heightens the practicality of Piaggio MP3, making for easier, less physical parking even in narrow garages, on slopes, or in situations where there is limited room to manoeuvre, increasingly likely in the city.
Reverse gear is activated via a dedicated control on the dashboard, with the engine on and the vehicle at a standstill. When reverse is engaged, the image of the rear area is shown on the TFT display, integrated by grids.
Other content on the top of the range version includes Cruise Control, capable of maintaining the set speed without touching the accelerator. The system, conceived to make riding more comfortable especially on long trips, can be engaged and controlled conveniently using the joystick located on the left hand controls block.
The Piaggio 530 hpe engine: record power in maximum comfort
Accredited with maximum power of 32.5 kW (44.2 HP) at 7250 rpm and maximum torque of 50 Nm at 5250 rpm, the 530 MP3 hpe engine makes its début on the Piaggio MP3, built on the base of the previous 500 cc unit already represented the most powerful single-cylinder in the three-wheeled scooter segment.
The new engine substantially maintains the same record power rating, but a lower rpm and lower maximum torque are achieved. All this results in significant improvements in terms of performance and rideability, but also in term of overall efficiency and comfort, with a substantial reduction in vibrations and noise, especially at medium/low speeds, and therefore in urban use. In suburban use, at higher speeds, significant improvements can also be found in terms of consumption.
Other upgrades contribute to these improvements, such as the implementation of a new and lighter piston cast in aluminium alloy - an uncommon solution, usually dedicated to high-end motorcycle applications. The cylinder head is also new, with larger size valves, an optimised combustion chamber shape, and a camshaft with new, specific optimised valve lifting.
The 530 hpe engine also uses a new Magneti Marelli 11MP ECU with ride by wire accelerator, thanks to which, three riding modes can be implemented, which the rider selects using the start button: ECO, COMFORT, and SPORT. In SPORT mode, the throttle is more responsive, whereas it is smoother and more progressive in COMFORT and ECO. In the latter mode, maximum power is also reduced. The riding modes also define the ASR traction control calibration, less invasive in SPORT mode and more suitable for situations with low grip surfaces in the other two modes.
The extensive refinement operations on the engine also allowed for an increase of the already outstanding reliability, consequently reducing the frequency of some routine service operations, such as the valve clearance check, now scheduled to be carried out every 20,000 km.
The Piaggio 400 hpe engine: PERFORMANCE AND EFFICIENCY
Accredited with maximum power of 26 kW (35.3 HP) at 7500 rpm and maximum torque of 37.7 Nm at 5750 rpm, the 400 hpe is a single-cylinder, four-stroke, four-valve engine with liquid cooling and electronic fuel injection which has always been considered one of the best engines in its category and which stands out for a few motorcycle-derived solutions, such as the multi plate wet clutch. This ensures better and more consistent performance over time, even in conditions of high thermal stress, eliminating any jerks and jolts that are found in common gearboxes when starting from a full stop, as well as ensuring an extraordinary riding experience.
Starting based on an already extremely efficient engine - the previous 350 cc unit - on the 400 hpe, the Piaggio engineers focused on multiple aspects with the goal of further improving mechanical and thermodynamic performance, as well as reducing vibrations and noise.
The use of a connecting rod that is longer and optimised in terms of weight, as well as a piston that has also been lightened and cast in aluminium alloy, contributed to reducing the alternating forces of inertia, resulting in fewer vibrations transmitted to the vehicle. All of this translates into greater overall comfort, particularly at cruising speed - an aspect that highlights the suburban touring character of the Piaggio MP3 400 hpe.
The engine also features an innovative system patented by Piaggio called PCV - Positive Crankcase Ventilation: comprising two blades built into the engine crankcase, it aims to reduce pumping losses, thereby favouring an increase in power.
Engine output, in terms of both power and torque, benefits from a specific intake line and optimised valve lifting. A progressive type chain tensioner, on the other hand, contributes to quieter timing operation.
Overall efficiency benefits from several changes in various areas: these include optimisation of the combustion chamber using CFD calculations, a high pressure injector that atomises the fuel more and the use of a less viscous engine oil (5W-40). The cover of the continuously variable transmission (CVT) has a conformation designed to improve cooling of the belt, a job that a larger fan also contributes to.
Ultimate safety: three wheels, ABS and ASR
The new Piaggio MP3 continues to feature the 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 aluminium 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 three-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.
On the new Piaggio MP3, the roll mechanism was the focus of various lightening operations. One of the arms of the quadrilateral suspension has been replaced with a lighter components, whereas the frame that supports the front suspension locking device - as well as the ABS control unit and the central part of the shield - is no longer made of steel tubing, but it is rather a plastic moulded structure.
Thanks to other lightening operations as well, the 530 hpe version boasts a total weight loss of 7 kg when compared with the previous Piaggio MP3 generation, all to the advantage of dynamic performance, for which another contributing factor is the fact that the radiator has been moved to a lower position, between the front wheels and the footboard.
All models in the new Piaggio MP3 range adopt the ABS anti-locking braking system integrated with ASR traction control (Acceleration Slip Regulation). 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 traction control system includes two levels of intervention (NORMAL and SPORT), depending on the riding mode selected on the 530 hpe version, whereas they can be selected manually by pressing the start button with the engine on for the 400 hpe version.
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. The braking system features new and more efficient brake master cylinders: this translates into less force that must be applied on the levers, as well as more modular braking force.
Greater safety and an even smoother ride are provided by the large 13 inch diameter front wheels.
Versions and colours
The new Piaggio MP3 is available in three different versions: alongside Piaggio MP3 400 hpe, with its elegant and popular look, comes the Piaggio MP3 400 hpe Sport, characterised by more gritty and sporty details. The top of the range model, on the other hand, the Piaggio MP3 530 hpe, is available exclusively in the unique Exclusive package.
Piaggio MP3 400 hpe
Two elegant metallic colour schemes with glossy finish distinguish the most classic equipment package of the range. Piaggio MP3 400 hpe is available in Nero Cosmo and Grigio Cloud, combined with a black seat with black and grey stitching and graphite grey painted wheel rims. The package is rounded out by the exterior matt grey finishings and the internal finishings (instrument panel frame, dashboard) in warm chrome, a warm matt satin chrome colour.
Piaggio MP3 400 HPE Sport
The Piaggio MP3 400 hpe Sport is available in four colour schemes: Nero Meteora, Bianco Luna, Grigio Titanio, and Arancio Sunset Matt, all colours combined with gritty black painted wheel rims and a black seat with contrasting red stitching. Other red details, such as the front and rear shock absorber springs and the element on the wheel rims emphasise the sporty look. The glossy black of the external finishings, including the mask on the front end, creates another strong contrast, whereas the internal finishings (instrument panel frame, dashboard, strips on the central tunnel) are in matt grey. Front brake discs with a wave profile and a foot board with aluminium inserts are included as standard.
Piaggio MP3 530 hpe Exclusive
Piaggio MP3 530 hpe has a popular equipment package, with four semi-matt colour schemes - Blu Oxygen Matt, Grigio Titanio, Nero Meteora , and Grigio Cloud Matt - combined with refined bronze-coloured details on the wheel rims, on the gearbox cover and on the seat stitching.
The package is rounded out by the graphite grey wheel rims, the exterior matt grey finishings and the internal finishings (instrument panel frame, dashboard, the stripes on the central tunnel) in warm chrome.
Front brake discs with a wave profile and a foot board with aluminium inserts are included as standard.