Automaker Fiat has introduced a new car that features a built-in espresso machine.
While many college students may still be awaiting a coffee IV to feed their caffeine addictions or to keep them awake during (and after) those dreaded all-nighters, the European automaker Fiat has a new innovation brewing — one that is sure to capture the hearts of coffee lovers.
Due out in Italy in October, the new Fiat 500L boasts a myriad of accessories, but the one that has drawn the most attention is the car’s built-in espresso machine.
That’s right, forget making a pit stop at your local coffee shop or rushing to brew your own coffee at home. Inside the new Fiat 500L — in collaboration with Lavazza, considered to be the Starbucks of Italy — you can brew your own espresso to enjoy in the comfort of your own automobile.
“I thought [the espresso maker] was a brilliant idea,” Nicole Ranieri, a 20-year-old Ohio University senior from Pittsburgh, wrote in an email. “Traffic won’t matter anymore if you have a coffee maker built in. Plus, you’d save money not going to a coffee shop all the time.”
As a self-proclaimed coffee addict, Meghan Murphy, a 20-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y., native and senior at Iona College, said she shares Ranieri’s intrigue regarding Fiat’s espresso machine, although she admitted her initial reaction was, “Why couldn’t it be a cappuccino maker? I love my cappuccinos!”
Yet, many people are not as enthusiastic as Ranieri and Murphy regarding a built-in espresso machine.
The innovation has gotten Fiat into a bit of hot water in the United States over concerns that the espresso machine is nothing but another distraction for drivers.
“We already spend half the time we’re driving staring at our phones,” Gawker’s Louis Peitzman wrote. “It’s hard to believe making and drinking a cup of espresso would do anything to make us better drivers.”
Ranieri, however, gives the driving population a bit more credit.
“While I don’t agree with texting and driving (obviously it’s very dangerous), some people might have the idea that glancing back and forth between the road and a phone is ‘do-able,’” she said. “However, if you think you can drive AND make coffee, you’re just crazy. Clearly, the car would have to be stopped to do so — it’s too complicated of a process.”
Still, due to the public’s outcry over the espresso machine, it remains unknown whether the North American version of the Fiat 500L will include the latest advancement.
“Upon the arrival of the FIAT 500L to North America it’s yet to be confirmed that the North American model of the 500L will in fact, include the additional feature set,” Marketing Manager at Fiat of Vancouver Richard Pearce wrote in an email. “Additionally, and it’s certainly worth noting, the espresso making device will ONLY function when the vehicle is at a complete stand still — despite the mild hysteria surrounding the online chatter.”
So drivers can only prepare a cup of espresso when the vehicle is stopped — a point that some may have overlooked in the uproar over the device.
Is this the future of the automobile? Should drivers expect coffee makers as the new norm when buying a car 10 years from now?
“I can’t imagine this type of innovation is exactly what Philip K. Dick envisioned for liquid refreshment consumption,” Pearce said. “Perhaps it’s simply a sign of the times and/or a nod towards a clearer vision of things to come?”
Ranieri and Murphy said they hope so, as both girls said they would love to see cars with built-in snack machines for the future.
“I’d love to see a cappuccino machine,” Murphy said. “I’d also be excited to see a toaster for the car. Then I could take my Pop-Tarts on the go and heat them up conveniently in the car. That is, before or after I’ve started driving!”
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