LACar’s John Grafman spent some quality time with the drivers of the 2019 Acura Long Beach Grand Prix discussing the Acura NSX.
On a perfect Southern California Thursday afternoon, it’s less than 24 hours before the long race weekend begins. Helio Castroneves and James Hinchcliffe will be battling it out on the streets of Long Beach. Castroneves is currently in the IMSA prototype series, while Hinchcliffe is happy sticking with racing in IndyCar. Right now, both are rather jovial and willing to answer a few questions on design, racing, and discussing the new Acura NSX. Being the race this year formally changed the title sponsor, and the designation is the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, it’s no surprise that the racers want to chat one-on-one about Honda’s luxury performance brand’s supercar. And, who are we to say no?
When the conversation turns to the Acura NSX, both Helio Castroneves and James Hinchcliffe are seemingly on the same page.
Helio starts off, “The NSX is one of the cars that I actually enjoy, because you have the look, you have the style, plus much more affordable than spending half-million to one million, or even three million dollars on a car. And, you can have all of it in one package. So, I really enjoy driving it. In fact, I wanna be giving people rides and I’m excited to just be behind those cars and able to do that.”
Prodding further, on the Acura NSX, Helio tells us how user friendly the interior of the Acura NSX is.
“Well, people don’t realize, but the technology, it’s gotta be in your hands, and everything is on the steering wheel, “says Castroneves. “Plus, it’s not only about technology, but also comfort. And when you’re talking about Acura, they’re able to be thinking about even how the sound is inside the car, of music for example. So, people sometimes don’t pay attention on this. But, I had a great class with one of the engineers talking about that, and that’s why I mention, because some customers are not so much about speed, but wanna combine the package together. And that’s the thing I’d like to mention. So, if you guys have an opportunity to check it out, I would totally recommend it.”
Hinchcliffe shares with us, “For me, the big one at the moment is the Acura NSX. I mean, that car is just so awesome. I loved the original one when it came out in the ’90s, and the version 2.0 I think is just absolutely incredible.”
“For me, the hybrid technology is great. Just the general styling of it, it’s a really, really attractive car,” says James. “Sleek lines, a little sharper than some of the other sports cars that have been going lately. Not quite as sharp and angular as they’ve been in the past. It’s kind of a nice happy balance.”
“It’s one of those things, it can be a little understated even for being a supercar if you want it to be. Comfortable to drive, slow, at the speed limit through city streets. But if you get a chance to open it up on a racetrack, it’s a race car for sure.”
“Being here at the Acura Grand Prix Long Beach is a fitting place to be, considering that’s one of my favorite cars. I wouldn’t mind taking one of those for a swing around this place.”
“Talk to Helio,” is our suggestion.
Hinchcliffe quips, “Yeah, exactly!”