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Car News In the Rearview: Fernando Alonso and an Antarctic Expedition

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Hello, and welcome once more to In the Rearview, your weekly digest of the top car news of the week.

First up this week, Nissan made a box, and we are all very proud.

To be fair, it is a very nice box for your center armrest, with a Faraday Cage built in so that if you put your phone in there while you’re driving, it won’t receive any signals so you won’t be tempted to text and drive. However, wouldn’t putting your phone in your normal, non-Faraday-Cage armrest do the same thing?

The Chrysler Portal Concept was the star of FCA’s display at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show

Then, Chrysler has been talking big, about how within two years it will be producing actual versions of its Portal Concept, which was a 250-mile electric minivan built “for Millenials.” Then again, the Fiat-Chrysler brands have long dragged their feet on coming up with electric vehicles, so I’m still feeling pretty skeptical.

Speaking of Fiat-Chrysler brands, Jeep showed that it is one of the family this past week by making an odd, slightly confusing commercial for its Jeep Compass that seemed to imply odd things about its buyers, like they don’t have steady jobs and hate veganism. It’s nice to see the brands maintain a family resemblance.

Hyundai Santa Fe Antarctica Patrick Bergel Shakleton journey snow driving

Meanwhile, you know what someone was doing while I was making up dumb jokes for the internet? Crossing the Antarctic continent in a Hyundai Santa Fe to retrace his great-grandfather’s failed expedition from 100 years ago. That’s pretty awesome, although it did make me feel kind of dumb while putting off getting out from under my warm covers this morning.

Lexus Three Journeys Short Film movie review DVD scene RX GX LX promo

Speaking of kind of dumb, did you know that Lexus made a short film several years ago that was basically a long-form advertisement for three of its vehicles, but pretended to be a real film? Well, now you do–and apparently, it was as dumb as you might expect.

Something that was actually watched by people, though, was Fernando Alonso this week, as he took his rookie practice runs for his first step into IndyCar. Alonso, an accomplished Formula 1 driver, is taking his first step into IndyCar racing with the Indy 500, and if the 2 million views his practice brought in is any indication, he brought some of his fans with him.

1917 Mitsubishi Model A

Finally, let us all clap our hands and put on generic happy faces, because it’s Mitsubishi’s 100th birthday (although nobody talk to it about all that trouble with its emissions). And for its birthday, Mitsubishi, with the aid of California Customs, has put together a remake of its very first car, the Mitsubishi Model A–although instead of the original, low-power motor, this one will be five times as powerful and run on a radical plug-in hybrid powertrain. I approve. Happy Birthday, Mitsubishi.