Fiat infuses Italian flavour into 500L, literally

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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Though Fiat's current 500 subcompact car is available in coupe, convertible and performance-oriented Abarth form, its North American sales results have so far disappointed Fiat.

"We thought we were going to show up and just because of the fact people like gelato and pasta, people will buy it," said Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne. "This is nonsense."

In a bid to boost sales, the Italian automaker is expected to introduce its larger, more practical 500L to the American market, and it's likely that a Canadian introduction will follow. Despite Marchionne's dismissal of such Italian delights as gelato and pasta, Fiat recently – and ironically – announced a built-in espresso machine for the 500L.

According to Fiat, the 500L is the world's first production car to be available with a fully integrated espresso machine as an accessory. The 500L's Lavazza A Modo Mio pod system includes a spoon holder, sugar container and pod dispenser.

Non-caffeinated power comes from a 1.4-litre inline four-cylinder gasoline engine, an even smaller 0.9-litre inline two-cylinder TwinAir gasoline engine, and a 1.3-litre inline four-cylinder MultiJet II turbocharged diesel engine. Expect only the 1.4-litre if sold in North America.

The "L" in 500L stands for "Large", evidenced by four full-size doors, whereas the smaller 500 only offers two doors. Fiat's 500L also has seating for five occupants instead of just four, and there's nearly 400 litres of space in the trunk. Though it's more utilitarian than the 500, the 500L manages a similar design aesthetic and features an available glass roof as well as 30 exterior colours to choose from.

With its increased accommodation, and of course the availability of a built-in espresso machine, Fiat has brewed up quite a competitor for Mini's Countryman; a key competitor to the 500L as it shares similar proportions.

If the Lavazza espresso maker proves to be a popular option, Fiat should probably consider a built-in gelato machine as well. Buon appetito.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, Hatchback, Fiat, 2013, 500L, Lavazza,

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