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Naza Premira officially launched the Vespa LX150 Apple Edition at its Vespa 3S Centre in PJ today, with an OTR price of RM11,388.

However, for this Chinese New Year, limited units will go for a promotional price of RM8,888, with angpows given out for purchase of the standard Vespa LX150. This offer ends February 28.

Limited to an eternally prosperous 168 units, the iconic scooter plays on the bitten-apple concept from the memorable 1969 Vespa advertising campaign that featured the slogan “Chi Vespa mangia le mele” (If you ride a Vespa, you take a bite out of the apple).

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It was to be another seven years before a certain similarly-themed computer and electronics company was founded. To Vespa, however, the apple symbolises “health, youth, summer fun and a ‘forbidden fruit’ of paradise – one that is attractive, nourishing and wanted by many.”

As such, the Hanoi, Vietnam-built scooter features bitten apple graphics and a two-tone saddle. Underneath, it’s basically a Vespa LX150, with the same air-cooled 150 cc four-stroke SOHC single-cylinder engine that feeds 11.66 hp at 7,750 rpm and 11.5 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm through an automatic gearbox. With a dry weight of 110 kg, top speed is a not-too-shabby 95 km/h.

Brakes are a front disc (200 mm diameter), rear drum (110 mm diameter) affair, while the steel chassis frame sits on a single arm with helical spring at the front and a coil spring at the back.

“Vespa is one of the most sought after lifestyle scooters in Malaysia with more than 1,000 units sold in 2012,” said Naza Group joint EC Datuk Wira SM Faisal SM Nasimuddin. “The company plans to increase sales to 2,000 units in 2013.”

Vespa is set to expand its operations in Malaysia with new 3S centres planned for Penang (first quarter), Johor, Kelantan, Terengganu and Sarawak at an estimated investment of RM5 million, and another new model set for launch in September.

“My challenge to my team is simple – we want to put a Vespa in every Malaysian home by 2020,” Datuk Wira SM Faisal told reporters at the event. “We’re looking to grow Vespa in the region as well.”