Seinfeld upends Acura's Super Bowl ad for NSX

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld, in the middle on the screen, attends his first Detroit auto show this week. Photo credit: ACURA

DETROIT -- No supercar for you! At least, not until Jerry Seinfeld takes a test drive. The comedian famous for his eponymous 1990s television show about nothing surprised reporters this week with an endorsement for a new model on the floor of the North American International Auto Show.

Seinfeld was attending the event in Detroit for the first time and asked to be there to see Honda Motor Co. unveil the Acura NSX supercar, said Mike Accavitti, Acura's senior vice president.

"He stopped in for the show, took a little stroll around first, sat in on our car and said it was fantastic," Accavitti said in an interview.

Accavitti said he periodically speaks with the comedian after they first teamed up for a 2012 Super Bowl ad and Acura sponsors Seinfeld's "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" show on Sony Corp.'s Crackle online video channel.

Acura will forgo advertising in this year's Super Bowl on Feb. 1 even though it has a production-version NSX for enthusiasts to order for the second half of the year, Accavitti said.

Honda, Japan's third-largest automaker, fell just short of a company-wide U.S. sales record last year in part because of a delayed introduction of Acura's new top-selling sedan, the TLX, A transmission flaw also forced a stop-sale of the model last month.

Honda sales

Honda's U.S. deliveries this year will grow 2 percent to 4 percent and set a record for the unit of the Tokyo-based company, John Mendel, executive vice president of sales, said in an interview. Prices for the NSX, which features two turbochargers, three electric motors and a high-performance V-6 beneath the hood, will start in the mid-$150,000s, Accavitti said.

Seinfeld and Acura agreed last year to four more seasons of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," in which its creator and star picks classic rides to roll around with comics including Chris Rock, Louie CK, Larry David and Michael Richards.

"It's picking up steam, it's getting more and more viewers, but to me it's kind of like the Super Bowl in that the people that watch that care about cars," Accavitti said of the show.

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