On August 25, Shanghai residents can officially purchase a Piaggio MP3 250 Scooter (a little misleading at first, MP3 actually stands for the acronym, “Piaggio motorcycle with three wheels” in Italian). The three-wheeler is being marketed by the joint venture Piaggio Zhongshen Foshan Motorcycle Co. Ltd., which is also planning on introducing the Piaggio MP3 hybrid model to China in the near future.
The scooters and their unique design (two wheels in front and one in the back) were first introduced in 2006, but have since then gathered quite the following, especially because of the improved safety features. The extra wheel not only increases the scooter’s stability but gives it 50% more contact with the road surface, meaning more traction and improved braking conditions. The hybrid model will also be the world’s first scooter with a combustion/electric engine.
One reviewer has said that while some argue the MP3 is “ugly” (and it could be seen as just a glorified motorized tricycle, right?), that’s not the point at all. The point, he says, is whether you would sacrifice the safety and finesse of the MP3 for “style” and a “false sense of security.”