Oh how those Italians love their espresso. And starting in October, they'll be able to have a doppio on the go in the new Fiat 500L. At the presentation of the car to the global press in Turin this month, Fiat announced that the 500L will be "the first standard-production car in the world to offer a true espresso coffee machine." The espresso maker will be an option in the new, bigger, four-door 500L that goes on sale in Italy in October and in the rest of Europe shortly after. (Think of the 500L as the Fiat 500 equivalent of the Mini Cooper Countryman -- there's even a vague similarity in silhouette.) Fiat says the machine "is perfectly integrated in the car with a deck designed expressly by Fiat." The espresso machine, which comes with matching cups, is being made for Fiat by Italian coffee importer Lavazza -- known as "Italy's favorite coffee" -- and uses the company's "A Modo Mio" coffee pods. Lavazza also runs a Starbucks-like coffee chain. The 500L, which is being built in Serbia, is due in the U.S. in 2013, but the espresso maker seems unlikely in the current climate of concern over driver distractions in cars. You could argue that it would do wonders for driver alertness. The 500L may be oh so Italian, but Fiat said at the presentation that it also will have a very American touch that shows the company's Chrysler connection: A branded Beats Audio (Beats by Dr. Dre) premium sound system like that in the Chrysler 300.
The 500L, which is being built in Serbia, is due in the U.S. in 2013, but the espresso maker seems unlikely in the current climate of concern over driver distractions in cars. You could argue that it would do wonders for driver alertness.