*if you drink espresso, I don't so they're no photos of aforementioned free espressos.
The LA Auto Show is an event that I look forward to all year. It's only 20 minutes from my place of residence without traffic (hour and 15 with) which means that unlike so many of the attending members of the press I get to go home and put my feet up at the end of the day.
I consider this to be an advantage because time away from the big machine that is the automotive industry gives one perspective. If I was staying in a hotel downtown I would have attended all the ultra exclusive parties held by the industry luminaries such as Porsche, Jaguar, Mercedes and Hyundai. The schmoozing would have continued long into the night and I would have likely found myself loosing all credibility as an objective, highly critical blogger.
You see I'm just another Opponaut, a car obsessed nerd who just happens to be devilishly good looking. I don't often like to trade on my good looks but when it comes to cars, I have no shame. I took showers before going to the auto show BOTH DAYS and even combed my beard. I find that you look like a young Adam Sandler with facial hair, it's hard for people to say no to you.
So with my boots cleaned and my best denim jacket on, I set out for a second day of interviews and awkward business card exchanges. I think it went pretty damn well, got great stuff from BMW, Jaguar, Mazda, Toyota and GM. Not every company has a person who is guaranteed to be good on camera but on a scale of 1 to Anne Hathaway most of the people I spoke with were a solid Nic Cage.
Aside from interviewing as many gatekeepers as possible, I chatted with a number of photographers, journalists, foreign dignitaries and living mannequins that guard the vehicles. What I ascertained from speaking with these folks was that our community is expanding faster than John Goodman's waistline. When I mentioned that I contribute to Oppositelock and occasionally get an article on Jalopnik their eyes lit up. "Oh I love Jalopnik!" was a phrase I heard over and over again. I know that it's the most read automotive website out there but it's still surprising to encounter such enthusiasm from such a diverse group of people. I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised in the least. After all, the types of people that attend the LA Auto Show are as varied as the brands exhibiting within the convention center but ultimately they're all there for the same reason, they love
cars free espresso.
I know Patrick posted a shot of this already but it's worth posting over and over again.
Did Toyota seriously use the Hallmark font for their Heritage section?
The F-Type Project 7 is a real heartbreaker. I still don't care for that hood stripe though.
BMW now offers really clean Spotify integration as part of their technology package. Just make sure you don't accidentally click TransAtlantic Lullaby while driving, that probably won't end well.
Here's the coolest thing Mercedes builds in front of the lamest thing Mercedes builds.
The guy I spoke with at Mercedes told me that there are a number of these currently in the press fleet...
AMG GT S Launch Edition hiding in the shadows. This car made me weak in the knees.
One man, one engine. That's what sets AMG apart. Worth noting that the plastic cover you see is not over the engine it's over the axle. The engine sits as close to the cockpit as possible making for 47/53 weight distribution. Neat-O!
It's got a very useable trunk, might even be able to fit a dead hooker in it.
Very tidy cockpit in the GT S, much more ergonomic than the SLS. The shifter which you see behind the touch pad is a little tough to reach back for when I had the seat positioned for "spirited" driving. However, once you put it in drive you don't need to use it so I suppose than can be forgiven.
This cover is a $8,200 option on the Maybach and is made out of 900 year old silk woven on a loom that dates back the 3rd age of Aquarius.
The door was open...
Doesn't come with complimentary bottles of Clicquot, bullshit.
Does come with that creepy clown face steering wheel though.
And a guaranteed sense of entitlement. Still, I love the unabashed opulence of this car.
Open pore wood in the GL 63 AMG. The interior was the best smelling of the show.
Attack of the drones!
My favorite debut of the show. I love what this car represents and I believe in it.
Just a great front end. Matte black the chrome and you've got yourself a stormtrooper.
I really, really hope they build this thing because it's fucking badass and would sell like wildfire with that 2.8L Duramax diesel in it.
It's even worse in person. Go home Lexus, you're drunk. Worst concept of the show.
Best concept of the show. Can't wait to see how Audi incorporates this design language into their lineup.
Here's one of those living mannequins I mentioned. They're so life like it's crazy!
Already looking forward to next year, maybe I can convince the RCR guys to come out, that'd be amazing.
Andrew Maness writes about cars because he has one and also has a computer. He's been known to drunkenly Tweet as @thisnicelife and upload photos to@theroadlessdriven. He also has a YouTube Channel and thinks talking about himself in the 3rd person is really weird but knows it's necessary if he wants to be taken seriously as an Oppo contributor.