TEST – Entirely renewed, the latest MP3 is close to an automobile in terms of its technological content.
After having revolutionized individual mobility with its MP3 tricycle and converted, in the space of sixteen years, nearly 230,000 people, more than half of them in France, mainly from the car industry, Piaggio has decided to open a new chapter with a completely renewed model. This is apparent at first glance with a more expressive style marked by the installation of LED lights and indicators in the fairing. Among the original features of this design, the number plate integrated into the rear mud flap is exposed to damage by being placed so low. Still open to B license holders (provided they follow a 7-hour training course for new entrants), the new MP3 is available in two versions: 400 and 530 cm3, but it is with the most efficient that you access the best of technology.
Hands-free key in the pocket, the single-cylinder 530 cm3 snorts after turning on the ignition via the rotary button and pressing the starter button. The on-board computer indicates a range of 260 km. At idle speed, the MP3 is not free from vibrations. Everything is in order from the first meters. Compared to the 500 cc it replaces, the 530 hpe has benefited from significant modifications in order to meet the Euro 5 standard. If the power does not change much, the torque increases to reach 50 Nm at a lower speed. There are no small savings: the suspension is lightened by 1.1 kilos and the scooter loses 7 kilos to display 280 kilos. It’s still a lot, especially in town where its maneuverability does not equal that of a two-wheeler. But, the Italian tricycle is aimed primarily at “commuters”, those who easily travel 50 km per day and essentially make peri-urban journeys.
Vigorous accelerations, covering the first 60 meters takes 0.4 seconds less than before, making it easier to enter fast lanes. The 110 km / h are reached quickly and by turning the throttle fully, it will be possible to flirt with 145 km / h. Three modes are available to the driver. In Sport, throttle response is quicker. When in Eco mode, it restricts the power by 20%. At high speed, we feel movements in the front axle but without the heading holding being altered. The general approval progresses notably thanks to a lowered sound level, a more considerate suspension, a tinted and more voluminous windshield protecting perfectly from the wind and an improved comfort of seat. The handlebars have been moved back and raised by 10mm, the wider floor has been lowered by 20mm and the saddle has been redesigned. Another plus: the apron incorporates knee protectors.
To these developments, Piaggio has added certain refinements that propel the MP3 into a new dimension. The instrumentation is based on a 7-inch TFT color screen, the largest on the market. It offers perfect readability and an easy-to-use joystick, on the left side of the handlebar, ensures navigation in the various menus. With the manufacturer’s application, by connecting your smartphone via Bluetooth, you can have your music library, manage your phone calls and also display navigation instructions for a planned route on the dashboard.
Developed from the Sport finish of the 400, the 530 cc innovates, adding driving aids hitherto unknown on this type of machine. The MP3 warns, by a visual alert on the screen, of the presence of vehicles in blind spots (up to 30 m). This safety system is coupled with the lane change assistant to further reduce the risk of collision with a rapidly approaching vehicle. Finally, the Italian trike adds cruise control and a reverse camera. Requiring pressing the start button, the operation is not free of jerks. To acquire this new MP3 530, you will have to pay 12,999 euros, or 2,000 euros more than the 400 Sport and the old 500.