5 Things You Have to Do at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Besides sit in all the cars, of course.

Chris Constantine

The Los Angeles Auto Show is a great place for casual buyers and car enthusiasts of all ages to witness some of their dream cars and potential purchases. The general rule is: If a car isn't behind a barrier and is unlocked, you can sit in it. Those that are locked are usually high-performance and custom cars, but they're still fun to look at. Included in that group are new and crazy vehicles like the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE and Acura NSX GT3 on display. While these are the main draws of the LAAS, there are plenty of other car-related activities available. Here are our favorites.

Iron Schöckl presented by Mercedes-Benz

Chris Constantine

Located outside on the breezeway, the Iron Schöckl or "Iron Shock" activity demonstrates the Mercedes-Benz G550's impressive all-terrain capabilities. With 416-horsepower, 4-wheel-drive, and three independent locking differentials, the G550 can navigate through, around, and over all sorts of obstacles with ease, as demonstrated here. Passengers ride along as a trained Mercedes driver takes them up and over MB Mountain, planting the car on 45-degree slopes on both the ascent and descent. It feels like a slow rollercoaster–– but it's still thrilling. 

Dodge Demon Drag Racing

Chris Constantine

While most of us won't ever be get behind the wheel of the Dodge Demon on a real drag strip, the LAAS offers a nice (and safe) compromise. In the back of Dodge's exhibit lies a pair of Demons hooked up to a racing simulator. Launching the Demon in-game is a little different than the real thing, but the cars will simulate a quarter-mile in Dodge's drag-monster pretty well. It's good fun and pretty challenging to control the car, although we wish it gave better and more violent feedback: We want to feel what zero to 60 miles per hour in 2.1 seconds is like!

Dodge Demon on the Dragstrip
The Drive

The Garage

Chris Constantine

The Garage is a highly-recommended exhibit for enthusiasts. It's located downstairs and is often overlooked by show-goers, making it far less crowded than the main floors. Previously called the Aftermarket Hall, it's basically LA's version of SEMA, with plenty of aftermarket vendors showing off stanced Ferraris, lifted trucks, and SMART cars with Lamborghini doors. There are also two huge Hot Wheels vendors offering new and rare models for die-hard die-cast enthusiasts.  

Porsche Hall

Chris Constantine

Okay, this seems like a big showroom, but the Porsche Hall is so much more than that. You can see the Nurburgring-conquering 911 GT2 RS, 680-horsepower Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo, just-announced 911 Carrera T, and 718 GTS twins in person for starters. At the press preview, the Porsche room also featured a full bar, accessory store, Cayenne handling demonstration, and touchscreen TV that lets you experience every new Porsche's exhaust note.

Free beer at the Grand Tour Mayhem Hall Pub

Chris Constantine

Amazon's favorite trio is back this year at the Auto Show, this time with their own pub. The pop-up pub located near the Porsche Hall, served free scones, tea, and beer as long as you post lots of selfies with the cut-outs of Clarkson, May, and Hammond on social media. 

The Grand Tour Destroyed 27 Cars and Drove 1.4 Billion Miles
The Drive

The LA Auto Show is open to the public from Dec. 1 to Dec. 10 and is a must-visit for anyone in the area interested in automotive tech, with more than 1,000 vehicles on display.