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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.

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.


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