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The Greatest Show on Pavement

The Greatest Show on Pavement
The Mercedes-Benz Project ONE concept highlights future automotive technologies. (Daimler AG - Global Communication)

Today's LA Auto Show far transcends simple static exhibits of the latest mainstream cars. In addition to 1,000 vehicles on display (including more than 50 newly-unveiled "debut" models), the 2017 edition features diverse new destinations for visitors to explore, including interactive simulators and experiences, unique vehicle ride and drives, plus plenty of kid-friendly attractions.

On the Mercedes-Benz Iron Schöckl, Auto Show guests can experience the famously capable G550 SUV at its limits on a man-made "mountain" (named after the Schöckl, an actual Austrian peak near where Mercedes develops its G-Class vehicles). Like an outsized Hot Wheels track for grown-ups, the Iron Schöckl comprises a 100% climb (i.e. a 45-degree incline) with, at its top, a movable platform which tilts the G-Wagen downwards for a hair-raising 45-degree descent. Situated in the South Hall Lobby of the Los Angeles Convention Center, the Hyundai Racing Challenge comprises three Hyundai Forza 7 Game Sleds featuring the sporty Hyundai Velostar coupe. In an exciting tournament atmosphere, players (age 18-plus) compete in preliminary rounds for the best lap times, with the best of these seeded against each other for a chance to win an Xbox game console and other prizes. Two tournaments are being held each day at the LA Auto Show.

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Also in the South Hall Lobby, the Genesis Open golf experience gives Auto Show guests the opportunity to compete for a daily prize of two VIP tickets to the real-life Genesis Open golf tournament in Pacific Palisades. Using realistic golf simulator technology, the Genesis Open golf experience creates an uncanny tour event atmosphere in which players compete in a closest-to-the-pin contest.

With 60FPS graphics and native 4K resolution in HDR, Forza Motorsport 7 - available on the Xbox One family of devices and Windows 10 PCs - has been hailed as the most comprehensive, authentic and beautiful racing game ever. At the family-friendly Xbox Gaming Lounge, in the Convention Center's Concourse Foyer, LA Auto Show attendees can experience its truly convincing motorsport thrills while competing for a chance to win a copy of the game, an Xbox One S bundle, and more.

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Technologically-advanced transportation exhibits at the show include Oregon-based Arcimoto, in the South Hall Atrium, which will be showcasing what it calls the world's first Fun Utility Vehicle (FUV) - an affordable two-seater, three-wheeled pure electric vehicle designed for commuters and fleets. In the West Atrium, Bollinger Motors is exhibiting its new B1 - a Land Rover-esque all-wheel-drive electric vehicle, which has been billed as the first-ever all-electric on or off-road sport utility truck. Also in the West Atrium, LA Auto Show visitors have a rare opportunity to get behind the wheel of the Polaris Slingshot three-wheel open-air roadster. There are also exhilarating Slingshot rides at its outdoor road course on the North Plaza.

Custom and unique cars are perennial auto show crowd-pullers, and the 2017 LA Auto Show is no exception. The adorably named "Minnie Van" is a one-of-a-kind collaboration between Honda and Disney to create a minivan inspired by kid-favorite Minnie Mouse. This 2018 Honda Odyssey has been transformed with a pink polka dot design, inspired by Minnie's signature style, complete with the character's oversized bow and instantly-recognizable ears perched atop the vehicle. For a bonanza of rare and outlandish rides, Galpin's Hall of Customs boasts an array of supercars and one-off custom vehicles, including its Ford Competition GT, multiple Aston Martins (the only ones on display at this year's LA Auto Show) and the debut of the attention-grabbing fuchsia Porsche Carrera GT created by Galpin Auto Sports - the world-renowned custom division of the Galpin Motors auto dealership group - for YouTube sensation Salomondrin.

For the first time since its September debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the 1,000-plus-horsepower hybrid Mercedes-AMG Project ONE will be on display at the LA Auto Show. This sleek two seater transfers the latest and most efficient Formula 1 hybrid technology almost one-to-one from the racetrack to the street for the first time, boasting a staggering 217 mph top speed. Hot off the November unveiling of its new Semi truck and (in a surprise) second-generation Roadster, Palo Alto-based Tesla has returned to the show's South Hall with its expanding line of powerful, instant-torque and zero-emissions electric vehicles which are always of interest to forward-thinking California drivers.

- Paul Rogers Custom Publishing Writer

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