We're not yet ready to call it a trend, but rumors have been flying that a couple more major automakers have set their sights on motorcycle manufacturers to add to their portfolios. If they do, they'll be following in the footsteps of the Volkswagen Group, which gobbled up Ducati and put it under the Audi brand in its ever-growing stable of nameplates.
Jay Leno's days might be numbered as host of The Tonight Show, but he will always have a spot in auto enthusiasts' hearts as long as he keeps releasing great videos showing off his and his friends' cars. The latest video from Leno's garage might be the weirdest yet and highlights the three-wheeled Decopod by automotive artist Randy Grubb, who also built Leno's Tank Car.
Piaggio has an unqualified success story on its hands in the form of the MP3 three-wheeled scooter. Well, make that a slightly qualified success, as the recently released hybrid version of the leaning machine hasn't quite sold up to expectations. Actually, Piaggio has sold, um, just about none of them.
Speculation is fun, right? Our friends from Asphalt and Rubber are doing just that in regards to a possible electric motorcycle from Italian motorcycle manufacturer Moto Guzzi. What makes anyone think Guzzi might give up its well-known fascination with across-the-frame air-cooled V-twins? The Piaggio Group, which owns the classic manufacturer, has announced that it will invest 12 million euros into the fabled marque as part of a widespread new business plan.
Perodua UK Limited, the importer of Piaggio Commercial Vehicles, has just announced that it's bringing the classic three-wheeled Ape back to the UK market. First introduced way back in 1948, the Ape (pronounced, ap-ey, FWIW, which is Italian for "bee." Vespa is Italian for "wasp") is based on the front end of a scooter but features an enclosed cabin for weather protection and two wheels out back.
We usually know Piaggio for its scooters and the great MP3 three-wheeled scooter, but it also builds a "microvan" based on the Daihatsu Hijet kei-car sized van. The vehicle, which is quite common for garden services in big European cities, uses a 660 cc engine. But there's an electric version as well, which is sold for use in city centers, as well as in Israel. Now the Piaggio Porter electric is also available in the UK, left hand driver notwithstanding, where it's exempt from the Congestion Ch