Italian scootermaker Vespa has just released an official photograph of its about-to-be-launched, 139th model - the Vespa LX - since the company started up way back in 1946.

The company describes it as "the latest chapter in the story of a unique design phenomenon".

The unmistakable Vespa outline is more sharply drawn, a new and angular design - "timelessly elegant", the company says - but still a compact steel body.

The LX will take its place alongside the Vespa Granturismo which, Vespa says, it resembles in terms of style and upscale technical features.

However, for the first time, there is an 11" front wheel to improve stability and steering. It carries a disc brake.

The LX is being assembled with a choice of four engines, all high-tech and Euro 2 compatible: a 50cc two-stroke, a 50cc four-stroke and 125 and 150cc four-strokes.

The Vespa LX is already on sale in European markets to replace the Vespa ET series.