Get racing - or meet a new friend - at the LA Auto Show

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Get your thrills on (and your adrenaline pumping) at this year’s LA Auto Show at special sideshow attractions that take you speeding around

an outdoor race circuit or test your virtual motor-ing skills against other gamers.Polaris is offering joy rides -- with professional drivers at the wheel -- in three-wheeled, open-air Slingshot SLR roadsters on a closed road course at Pico Plaza.

Auto show visitors aged 18 and older can take a passenger seat in a Slingshot for free by showing your admission ticket.

Slingshots, a race-inspired motorcycle/roadster hybrid, feature a sporty waterproof cockpit equipped with a multi-touch display system with turn-by-turn GPS navigation, comfy bucket seats, Sparco steering wheel, two-piece composite brake rotors and forged-aluminum wheel grips.

The power train revolves around a 5-speed manual transmission and 2.4-liter, four-cylinder General

Motors Ecotec engine that churns out a maximum 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque, giving the 1,700 lb. vehicle massive amounts of acceleration.

These no doors, no roof, fun machines are fully equipped for legal street driving and classified as a three-wheeled motorcycle.

Manufactured by a Minnesota-based company that also makes top-of-the-line snowmobiles and ATVs, Slingshot comes in four highly customizable models ranging from around $20,000 to $30,000.

If virtual driving is more your thing, slip inside the convention center for other behind-the-wheel adventures. The Hyundai Racing Challenge allows players 18 and older to compete for the fastest lap time in side-by-side simulators in the convention center’s South Hall.

Contestants who rack up top times in the preliminary rounds are invited to compete in two daily tournaments for a chance to win and Xbox and other prizes.

The Jaguar VR Experience (also in the South Hall) offers show goers the opportunity to slide into the driver’s seat of a tricked-out Jaguar, slip on a VR headset and sink into a thrilling race scenario.

Over on the Chick Hearn Court, the Toyota Thrill Ride makes riders the star of their own action-adventure movie as you pilot a Camry, Corolla or 86 around a virtual driving course experience that includes donuts, ramp jumps and even evasive maneuvers for those who want to pretend like they’re a superhero or a super-spy.

Bringing things back into the real world -- and out of the driver’s seat -- Subaru is partnering with the Best Friends Animal Society to help animals find a loving, forever home.

On both weekends of the auto show, animal lovers can visit the Subaru booth in West Hall, which will be “manned” by a selection of adorable pets that visitors can interact with or even adopt.

If you already have a furry friend at home, you can make personalized I.D. tags or chew toys for your own pet -- or make a donation for pets in need -- with all proceeds going to the Best Friends Animal Society.

-Joe Yogerst, Custom Publishing Writer