OC Auto Show unveils striking new models in Anaheim

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The Orange County International Auto Show unveils newly released vehicles at the Anaheim Convention Center. (KABC)

The Orange County International Auto Show unveils newly released vehicles at the Anaheim Convention Center, including the popular 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

The carpeting on the floor of the Anaheim Convention Center is made to look like a road; black with yellow stripes down the middle. Walking it this weekend takes you to cars that will be on the road, way in the future, or very soon.

This is a first chance to see the all-new 2016 Honda Civic, the all-new 2016 Toyota Tacoma, and the all-new 2016 Camaro, the sixth generation of Chevy's muscle car.

"A lot of people are really excited to see the Gen-6," said GM spokesperson Nicole Clare, adding with a laugh, "It's been causing a lot of chaos!"

Acura doesn't have anything brand new to show, but they did receive some big news this week. Top safety ratings for every vehicle they sell, from both the government (NHTSA), and the insurance industry (IIHS).

"From the lowest-priced model to the highest-priced model, Acura has the highest safety ratings of any brand in the U.S.," said Chris Martin, a spokesperson for Acura who was attending the auto show's press preview.

Safety does sell, and some cars sell particularly well in Southern California in general, and in O.C. specifically.

"Orange County is definitely a big market for Mercedes-Benz, as well as AMG," said Diedra Wylie, a spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz USA. "We have a lot of cars here on the road, and we brought out our best to showcase here at the show.

That "best" includes the new AMG GT S super sports car, which starts at $130,000 and recently picked up Motor Trend's Best Driver's Car award.

As has been the case for many years, test drives are a big part of the OC Auto Show, and there's always at least one model that's really hot at the moment. This year, it's the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Examples of the two seat roadster are very scarce at Mazda dealerships right now, as most of their first shipments already went to buyers who had placed orders. So, you can't test drive a Miata at most of the dealerships, but you can test drive one at the show.

Head downstairs, show your license, and you can take a Miata and lots of other cars for a spin, out the door and around the block.

Or if you want to have some fun in a Jeep, get an aerial view of the block. Camp Jeep is once again here at the show, letting people see what Jeeps can do, like climb a steep man-made "mountain" at a very steep angle.

Lots of cars available for those test drives, and wouldn't it be fun to just keep going in some, all the way to the beach?

"Unfortunately, you can't drive that far," said Mercedes-Benz's Diedra Wylie with a chuckle. "But we guarantee you'll have a good time driving the cars here."

The show, and the local test drives, run all weekend.

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automotiveauto showcarmazdaAnaheimOrange County
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