Fiat Makes a Car Espresso Machine

When it was announced that Fiat was bringing its little Italian cars back to the U.S. market, I was excited. Fiat's blend of sexy chic and utilitarian sensibility truly embodies all things Italian. Besides, it costs thousands of dollars less than the Mini Cooper, another cute import.

In an attempt to win over consumers, the company opened little "studios" complete with colorful car models and an espresso machine. When I walked into the showroom studio, I was accosted by a salesperson. Here we go, I thought, steeling myself for the typical automotive hard-sell. Instead, I was offered a cappuccino and the opportunity to look around and kick the tires on my own -- all while holding a rich, satisfying drink in my hands.

I was enchanted by the company's non-sales technique and complimentary hot beverages (not to mention an economical car at a reasonable price) and eventually wound up driving away in a pistachio-green model.

In an attempt to woo young urban professionals away from Minis and Scions, Fiat has come out with interesting colors and fun aftermarket options. Some of the accessories you can buy for your little car include eyelashes for the headlights, sporty wheel covers, Bose stereos, and a Barbie package that includes a hot-pink shifter, floor mats, and key cover.

This week, however, Fiat outdid itself by announcing it will offer an espresso machine option in the new 500L series. According to the auto manufacturer, the 500L is "the first standard-production

car in the world to offer a true espresso coffee machine that utilises the technology of the 'A Modo Mio' pods. It is perfectly integrated in

the car with a deck designed expressly by Fiat."

The machine, made

in conjunction with Italian coffee company Lavazza, is already making

headlines, with some people (mostly Americans) up in arms about the

little caffeine machine. My only qualm is that it's not yet

available in the Fiat 500, the model currently sold in the United


As for the claims that the coffeemaker is yet one more driving distraction

that can lead to accidents, I'll just speak for myself and say I'm at my

most alert after a strong shot of espresso. Until my iPhone's

Siri can pour me a cup of java, I'll be dreaming of the day when SoFiat

Loren (my car's name) can make me a nice cup of joe for the morning


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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss