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Fiat to Add In-Car Espresso Maker to 500L

Integrated Lavazza system sparks debate on potential for distracted driving.

By Joshua Condon Jul 16, 2012 11:39AM
Photo by Fiat.The need for oversized cupholders in American vehicles remains a source of derision among motoring-minded European drivers, yet it's Italian automaker Fiat that is currently angering driving purists and distracted-driving opponents alike with plans for an in-car espresso machine in its upcoming Fiat 500L.

The option to enjoy the "unique taste ... of true Italian espresso" will be available via an integrated Lavazza Coffee Experience Kit to European buyers of the 5-passenger 500L,  according to the automaker. The 500L debuted at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March. It is expected to arrive in the U.S. beginning next year, though the decision to offer the in-car espresso kit to the American market has not yet been made, according to a company representative speaking to CNN.

In response to early criticism regarding the potential for distracted driving -- as might be expected when contemplating brewing piping-hot espresso in a multi-ton vehicle capable of highway speeds -- the Fiat representative clarified that the system could be used only "when the car is stopped," and went on to say that the machine "is quite tiny and it has a docking station in which it remains locked." All of which may or may not satisfy the distracted-driving contingency, but it certainly won't fly among those who like to think of Europeans as conscientious, engaged motorists and Americans as coddled drivers with more concern for creature comforts than spirited automobiles.

Until we up the ante and install an in-car George Foreman grill, that is.

[Sources: CNN; Inside Line.]

Jul 22, 2012 11:12AM
H*ll yeah, lets make coffee, yack on the phone, text, put our make up on all while driving. What morons.
Jul 22, 2012 9:14AM

Bring it on -- the expresso machine, I mean.  As someone addicted to a good cup of coffee I would welcome making my own over buying some of the colored water that you find at most convenience stores in South Dakota.  BTW -- what's a Starbucks?!


Cooffe in a car sounds like a great idea.  Serious drivers would keep a handle on preventive driving though.  Seems Starbucks just got challenged, competition is always good, keeps the blood pumping. Thank you. Sharon K.


Ahh yes rich lonely guys, try the younger side that are willing to break up marriages, mine does.

Jul 22, 2012 7:29AM
@ Dan Cody.  Wouldn't that be the Espresso Lane?
Jul 22, 2012 6:18AM
hopefully less chance of the driver fallin asleep with that caffeine kick
Jul 22, 2012 6:14AM
with all that caffeine,the car auta run a lot the express lane..
All it needs is a mini fridge to keep the milk cold and that'll stop my trips to starbucks. :-)
In case nobody noticed the machine ONLY works when the car is stopped.

Jul 22, 2012 3:57AM
if you are that hooked on coffee,you need to see a shrink.
Jul 22, 2012 1:34AM
That is just plain stupid.  Who the hell thinks up this sort of crap?
Jul 19, 2012 8:00PM

 This espresso machine is NOTHING compared to what they are putting into vehicles in Mexico these days; such as the optional Methamphetamine Machine.

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