If the new-car smell is something you’ve been missing, you’re in luck.
The annual Columbus International Auto Show, which kicked off Thursday, continues through Sunday at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
A wide variety of vehicles — including concept, “green” and unique vehicles — will share display space with production models from local dealerships. Interactive exhibits, contests and entertainment also are planned.
Here are 10 things to know about the show:
1. Take a peek: It’s all about the cars, right? Expected manufacturers include Acura, Alfa Romeo, Audi, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ferrari, Fiat, Ford, Genesis, GMC, GTR, Honda, Hyundai, Indian Motorcycles, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Polaris, Porsche, Ram, Subaru, Toyota, Victory Motorcycles, Volkswagen and Volvo.
2. Climb on in: Visitors will have the chance to get behind the wheel of a Toyota, Subaru or an all-electric Nissan Leaf and drive from inside the showroom onto Downtown streets with the new indoor/outdoor ride and drives. In addition, the Ram Truck Experience returns, offering visitors a chance to ride along as it tackles a variety of obstacles.
3. New this year: Stop by Accessory Avenue to check out body kits, leather and heated seats, grille guards, audio systems, automatic starters, window tint, graphics and all sorts of custom packages that are available through local auto dealers.
4. Cool stuff, part 1: Carlyle Racing presents the “World’s Fastest Corvette,” a 3000 hp, twin turbo drag car that can go to 228 mph in 6.54 seconds. It’s the owner of 12 world records.
5. Cool stuff, part 2: Say hi to “Velma.” This one-time city bus has been retrofitted as a party with wheels. Check out seating for 18, three TVs, two refrigerators and color-changing LED lights, not to mention exterior goodies that make it a tailgater’s dream.
6. For the kids: The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will bring some critters to the show. In addition, Matt the Balloon Guy will be making balloon animals. If you see him, challenge him to make a creation of your choosing. Face Doodles by Jen will appear to turn faces into works of art. And the Blue Jackets’ mascot, Stinger, will be roaming the floor to greet visitors of all ages. (Check the show’s website for times for these visits.)
7. Pick your favorite: OSU design students will compete in the Art on Wheels vinyl wrap challenge for $1,000 to $5,000 in prizes. The top four designs will be on display for voting.
8. Sound advice: Interactive distracted-driving simulators from Maria’s Message, a group aimed at ending teen distracted driving, will give visitors a look at the dangers of texting and driving.
9. Free ride: Avoid parking at the show by using Uber. Sign up for the service with promo code “CIAS2016” and you’ll get a free first ride, worth up to $15.
10. You could win: Visitors can register to win a 2-year lease on a new 2017 Chevy Cruze Hatchback 1LT. Eight ﬁnalists will be brought to the show on Sunday to take part in a drawing for the prize at 3 p.m. in the Chevy display. (There are other giveaways planned. Check the show’s website for more info.)