Vespa Raises the Bar

Tom Schierlitz

After 67 years, perfection.

Vespa’s longevity is not hard to explain—no other motor vehicle can turn a trip to the store into a tracking shot from a Fellini film. And there are plenty of options in the Italian icon’s 21st-century lineup: underpowered 50cc models that might as well be pedal bikes and steroidal scooters that top out at 80 miles per hour. The S 150 i.e. is the perfect middle ground—quick enough to split through traffic and comfortable enough to make you feel like you have nowhere to be. Its classic lines are borrowed from the Vespas of the 1970s, a high-water mark in scooter design. And the finishing touch is the finish: a thoroughly modern matte titanium paint job, introduced in 2011. From $4,500;