Piaggio updates MP3 scooter range with three new models

Piaggio has announced its updated MP3 scooter range, with sportier aesthetics, improved ergonomics and more power than before. 

Piaggio MP3 530 Exclusive turning left. - Piaggio

The Piaggio Group’s MP3 three-wheeled scooter range is back for 2022 featuring three models, sportier looks and power increases across the board. 

The Piaggio MP3 has sold over 230,000 units since its first year in 2006, and its evolution continues in 2022. For this year, Piaggio has updated the MP3 400 HPE, MP3 400 HPE Sport, and MP3 530 HPE Exclusive with more power, and more aggressive aesthetics. 

The MP3 300 HPE is also a part of the range, and features the same three-wheel technology as its larger siblings, but with greater dedication to city commutes. Earlier this year, we reviewed the MP3 300 Sport, which makes use of the same vertical-locking mechanism when stopped as the new MP3 400s and 530 to mean you never have to touch your feet on the floor. Additionally, like the MP3 300 Sport, the 400s and 530s can be ridden with a car licence. 

Piaggio have really tried to lean into the sporty style with this 2022 update for the MP3s. Whether that has anything to do with the success of their subsidiary, Aprilia, having quite a successful time in MotoGP of late, or if the looks are there to mirror the increase in horsepower - which we will get to - is unclear, and ultimately does not matter.

What matters is the result, which is a new horizontal LED cluster at the front, a smaller air intake thanks to a repositioning of the radiator between the front wheel and footboard, as well as a vertical spoiler that is designed to increase stability. There is also a new front screen, which is smaller than before but designed to give the same protection.

From the rider’s perspective, you will find a seven-inch TFT display - where the primary information such as the speedometer can be viewed in either analogue or digital modes, and can be navigated via a four-point joystick - while the handlebar controls have been updated to improve ergonomics. Additionally, some of the controls are now on the dashboard, which Piaggio says is designed to be “exactly like the dashboard of a luxury car,”  in a press release.

The rider triangle has also been modified with the goal of improving ergonomics. For example, the handlebar has been moved back, and raised by 10mm, while the footboard has been lowered by 20mm. A larger rider triangle means a more relaxed position while riding, and the seat is also changed with this in mind - particularly for the passenger, whose seat is longer and whose grab handle is higher. 

Ergonomic improvements also make their way to the new parking brake, the lever for which is now positioned higher on the back plate of the leg shield, near the ignition switch. That leg shield back plate also features two anti-impact pads. 

The new MP3s are able to be connected to the Piaggio MIA app (this is an optional on the 400 HPE), which allows the seat to be opened remotely. The under-seat storage is unseparated, and Piaggio says “There's room to comfortably fit two full-face helmets or a computer bag.”

Additionally, the 530 HPE Exclusive is the first scooter to be equipped with ARAS (Advanced Rider Assistance Systems), which was first developed by Piaggio Fast Forward (Piaggio’s robotics subsidiary based in Boston) and makes use of Imaging Radar 4D.

As well as ARAS, the 2022 MP3s also make use of the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), and Lane Change Decision Aid System (LCDAS). Both are quite self-explanatory, with BLIS letting you know when a vehicle is in your blind spot, and LCDAS notifying you when it is safe to change lanes by monitoring the speed of vehicles behind the scooter. Both systems notify the rider via the TFT dash.

Piaggio first introduced a reverse gear to a scooter in 2019 with the MP3 500 HPE, and it has now added a reverse camera to the 530 HPE for 2022, increasing safety as a result. 

Now, getting away from the ergonomics and visuals, on the technical side the MP3 for 2022 features some eye-catching figures. In particular, the 530 HPE Exclusive features the most powerful engine of its class, with 44 horsepower at 7,250rpm, and 50Nm at 5,250rpm. 

It also comes with a Magneti Marelli ECU, and three riding modes: Eco, Comfort, and Sport. 

On the side of the 400s, you get 35 horsepower at 7,500rpm, and 37.7Nm at 5,750rpm. The engine is based on the previous 350 unit but, despite the increase in size, Piaggio has tried to make it as light as possible. To do this, the pistons have been cast in aluminium, which also helps to reduce the inertia of the engine. 

Optimised valve lifting, as well as Piaggio’s patented Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) system have helped to maximise the power output of the 400, which has also benefited from CFD modelling to optimise its combustion chamber, as well as the use of a less viscous engine oil (5W-40). 

Of course, impressive output from the motor requires impressive performance from the brakes. On this front, the MP3s make use of ABS (there is also an ASR traction control with two settings). Both at the front (where the wheels are 13 inches for greater stability) and the rear, the discs are no less than 258mm in diameter.

Colours vary between each of the three scooters. We will start with the MP3 400 HPE, which is available in Grigio Cloud and Nero Cosmo. The sport version, MP3 400 HPE Sport, is available in Grigio Titanio, Bianco Luna, Nero Meteora, and Arancio Sunset Matte. 

Finally, the MP3 530 HPE is available in Blu Oxygen Matte, Grigio Titanio, Nero Meteora, and Grigio Cloud Matte. 

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