Fiat 500L to Offer World’s First Built-In Espresso Maker

When coffee cupholders just aren’t enough.

by on Jul.16, 2012

The new Fiat 500L will offer a built-in espresso maker - in Europe, anyway.

These days, almost every car on the road is likely to offer a couple cupholders.  But that means you still have to brew up your own batch of java or stop at the local coffee shop on your way to work.  Not so when the new Fiat 500L hits the road in October.

The European version, at least, will include what the Italian maker is billing as “the first standard-production car in the world to offer a true espresso coffee machine.”’

It probably should come as no surprise that Fiat would offer the option considering Italy’s intense love of a bitter shot of espresso.  No word whether it will make cappuccino, as well, however.

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The maker is “perfectly integrated” into the center console, the maker explains and was developed for the 500L by Italy’s largest coffee chain, Lavazza.  It uses single-shot cartridges that minimize the hassle and avoid the risk of dumping coffee grounds all over the car.

Several other manufacturers, including Mercedes-Benz and Ford, have recently introduced driver alert systems designed to signal a motorist who appears to be getting drowsy.  They use a coffee cup symbol to warn that it’s time to pull over.  With the Fiat 500L, apparently, a driver wouldn’t need to go looking for a coffee shop.

The Fiat 500L will be the next model to join the maker’s American line-up.  It appears there are no plans to bring the espresso machine along for the trans-Atlantic ride, however.

The introduction of a full-fledged espresso machine in the new 4-door model is a sharp switch in direction for Fiat. European manufacturers long disdained the American demand for cupholders, adding them only when it became apparent they were losing business to U.S. and Japanese brands.

But motorists have been looking for more than just a place to store their beverages.  A number of new models now include chilled gloveboxes where you can cool down a soft drink can.  And the latest version of the 300C sedan, produced by Fiat’s U.S. partner Chrysler, offers cupholders that can be set to either chill or heat your beverage.

Meanwhile, for those with the resources, the new Rolls-Royce Phantom II offers a rear seat refrigerator for storing a bottle of your favorite bubbly, as well as a cut crystal decanter for those who prefer a nice single malt scotch. There are matching glasses, as well, as one might expect.

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2 Responses to “Fiat 500L to Offer World’s First Built-In Espresso Maker”

  1. Roger M. Woodbury says:

    I am hoping that Htxurlwill investigate the rumor that Volkswagen, not to be outdone by the Fiat 500L’s espresso machine, will be introducing a strudel maker in place of the traditional glove box on all 2013 models. I doubt very much the other rumor about a schnapps tap for rear seat passengers is more than a vicious rumor.

    • Paul A. Eisenstein says:

      Hi, Roger,

      Apparently the EU regulators vetoed the schnapps and the strudel machine actually will be one of two options on select ’13 VW models — not all. The alternative is a German pretzel maker. In typical Mercedes-Benz fashion, not to be outdone, the maker has upgraded its own designs to provide Schlag (whipped cream) on the strudel model and to split and butter the pretzels on that model. BMW, in turn, is seeking an EU waiver for a Weissbier tap.

      Paul A. Eisenstein

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