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by Tim Beissmann

The all-new Fiat 500L has swapped grinding gears for grinding beans, becoming the first production car in the world to offer an integrated coffee machine for drivers to make espresso on the go.

Developed in collaboration with coffee experts Lavazza, the 250-euro ($300) ‘Coffee Experience’ kit includes the coffee maker, cups, a spoon holder and a sugar container, making it seemingly perfect for Jerry Seinfeld’s new show Comedians in cars getting coffee.

The brewing flask plugs into its own specific power source between the front seats in the centre console. The heating element boils water at the base, which streams up to the top where it blends with Lavazza’s specially designed Modo Mio pods to make a piping hot cup of coffee.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen a car with an integrated coffee machines, with the Peugeot HX1 concept boasting a similar system at last  year’s Frankfurt motor show.

With many governments and safety authorities already trying to crack down on in-car features that can lead to distracted driving, the Coffee Experience accessory is likely to create a bit of a buzz when the 500L is rolled out into more than 100 countries around the world over the next 18 months.

Fiat Australia earlier this week confirmed its interest in the 500L, insisting the Mini Countryman rival is “a strong contender” to be added to the local line-up, potentially as early as the second half of next year.

The Fiat Panda-based 500L combines the cute looks of the smaller 500 city car with the five-door, five-seat practicality of a mini MPV.

It is available with a range of small petrol and diesel engines, including the tiny 77kW/145Nm 0.9-litre turbocharged petrol TwinAir and a 62kW/200Nm 1.3-litre diesel that uses 4.2 litres of fuel per 100km.




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