Scooter sales were deteriorating in India at one point in the last decade. Bajaj Auto pulled out of the segment owing to poor sales in 2010. However, Honda found the winning ingredients and its Activa rekindled buyers' interest for scooters.
Currently, scooters are one of the most important two-wheeler segments in India and Honda is in the driver's seat. Guess what! Dedicated scooter-makers like Vespa runs a successful business in India now.
The year 2018 is far more exciting for scooter aficionados as around a dozen scooter models are lined up. We have compiled all the details of the new models you can expect in India.
Aprilia SR 125
After the hugely successful SR 150, Aprilia is set to introduce its 125cc scooter SR 125 in India. The model has already been spotted at company dealerships and it has a styling in line with the SR 150. The younger sibling is expected to borrow the engine of Vespa SXL 125 and VXL 125.
The 125cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine develops 9bhp of power along with 8.2Nm of torque in the Vespa twins. The launch is expected anytime from now and it will be priced at Rs 75,000, on-road, Delhi.
TVS currently sells an array of 110cc scooters in India. The company is set to test the water in the 125cc segment, and a new scooter is due soon. A set of spy images of the purported scooter has been recently leaked online recently and the test mules look a lot like the TVS Graphite concept which was unveiled at Auto Expo 2014.
TVS Graphite is expected to be a performance scooter. It is expected to be loaded with cool features like an AMT gearbox with paddle shifters, an LED console, clip-on handlebars and ABS.
Ather S340 is an upcoming premium electric scooter. Unlike usual electric scooters with uninviting design, Ather S340 will come with a touchscreen dashboard, which integrates cloud-based data, disc brakes and LED lights that respond to ambient light conditions.
It will be powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. The new electric scooter will be built around a hybrid aluminium chassis. The manufacturer claims it will have a range of up to 60km, a top speed of 72kmph and the battery can be charged up to 80 percent in 50 minutes.
Hero Duet E
Hero MotoCorp showcased the Duet E — a fully-electric scooter concept based on the regular Duet scooter — at Auto Expo 2016. The production version is expected to enter the market in 2018.
The electric motor in the scooter will develop 5KW and 14Nm of torque powered by a long-range lithium-ion battery.
Hero claims the Duet E can reach 0-60kmph speed in 6.5 seconds. Hero also revealed at the expo that the scooter has a travel range of 65km on a single charge.
TVS Jupiter electric
TVS Motor Company has already started working on hybrid as well as electric scooter models. The e-scooter from TVS is expected enter market in March 2018 and it has already been spotted testing.
The model spied under camouflage indicates it will be based on the Jupiter model. The new prototype was caught on camera while charging at an apartment in Bengaluru.
Vespa GTS 300
Italian manufacturer Piaggio is reportedly looking to launch its powerful scooter, the Vespa GTS 300, in India this year. The scooter, which is expected to become the most expensive offering of Vespa in India, may get a price tag of over Rs 4 lakh.
To be sold through Motoplex dealerships, the GTS 300 is powered by a 278cc single-cylinder engine developing 21bhp and 22.3Nm of torque. It features LCD display in the cluster that houses fuel gauge, trip meter, odometer and clock, and comes with an instrument cluster that combines analogue and digital inlay.
The GTS 300 also has traction control and a two-channel ABS system in its list of features.
Hero is rumoured to be planning to launch a new 125cc scooter soon. The new 125cc scooter may get retro-styling, targeting urban young Indians. If it is true, the new scooter will be pitted against Honda Activa 125 and Suzuki Access 125.
The company first showcased the Dare 125 in India at the Auto Expo 2014. A recent report had indicated that the production-spec Dare could be the newest model from Hero.
2018 Suzuki Swish
Suzuki is planning to launch a sporty scooter in India. The company had unveiled the new Swish scooter at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show in October. The latest version of the Suzuki scooter comes with a sporty design, and hence could be the model bound for India.
It is expected to be powered by the 125cc mill currently doing duty in the Access. In that case, the single-cylinder engine will develop 8.5bhp and 10.2Nm of peak torque, mated to a CVT automatic unit.
Bajaj Chetak was a household name in India at one point in time. With the arrival of the newcomers, the sheen of the Chetak faded away and Bajaj Auto eventually shifted its focus to motorcycles. Now, reports claim Bajaj is keen to bring back the Chetak.
The premium scooter segment has been experiencing reception from customers like never before and hence the Chetak in a new avatar will be a premium buy.
A leaked picture of the new Chetak by Gaadiwaadi indicates it will feature a retro design with contemporary cycle parts — a formula mastered by Vespa. The scooter is expected to get advanced suspension components and disc brake at the front as optional.
Another iconic model coming back to life this year is the Lambretta. After a hiatus of nearly two decades, Switzerland-based consortium Innocenti SA reincarnated the iconic scooter brand at the 2017 EICMA show in November.
The Milan-based brand celebrated its resurrection with the V-Special models — V50 Special, V125 Special and V200 Special. The three scooter models have the retro-charm of the 60s' and 70s' models, featuring a steel body, aluminium forged parts and signature Lambretta design.
India is reportedly one of the destination, and a launch can be expected in the second half of 2018.