Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Porsche 918 Spyder prototype in Martini livery

As much as Gulf Racing livery may be synonymous with the Porsche 917, Martini racing is an equally famous Porsche sponsor of years gone by. The livery has adorned both 911 and 917, and now, its graced upon the all-new 918 hybrid supercar.

We had seen spy shots of the 918 in classic race guise at the Nürburgring, but here are the first official photos from Porsche. With permission from Martini owner Bacardi & Company of Switzerland, the German automaker has grafted the iconic livery onto its high-performance green machine.

Martini has been involved with auto racing since as far back as 1968, sponsoring a Formula Two race at the Hockenheimring, and their first support of Porsche came in 1969, entering two 907s in several races. It was a Martini-liveried 917LH that won the 1971 Le Mans 24 Hours, but it was not until 1973 that Martini became a factory partner of Porsche. That partnership lasted until 1978, and during that time, Martini-shod cars won the Targa Florio in '73, the Sports Car World Championship in '76, and Le Mans in '76 and '77.

The red, white and two-shades-of-blue could be found on almost every racing Porsche of the 70s, including the 908, 917, 935, 936 and 911 RS and RSR models.

Hopefully Porsche brings the 918, in standard or RSR form, to the motorsport world. If so, though, it's probably unlikely that the plug-in hybrid supercar will wear a livery as tied to the brand's heritage as a company that makes vermouth.

From AutoBlog.Com