Porsche 918 Spyder in Martini racing livery - overhead front three-quarter shot

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.
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918 Spyder prototype in attractive Martini Racing design

Stuttgart. Driving trials of the Porsche 918 Spyder are entering the next phase. A permanent fixture of the test programme for the 918 Spyder – and in the tuning process for all Porsche vehicles – is the 20.8 km long challenging Nürburgring-Nordschleife race circuit. After all, a lap time of less than seven minutes and 22 seconds is one of the development goals of the innovative super sports car with a plug-in hybrid drive.

The 918 Spyder combines a high-performance internal combustion engine with electric drives at the rear and front axles to achieve extraordinary driving performance and excellent efficiency. The system power of all three drives together is 770 hp. The car's NEDC fuel consumption is forecast to be only around three litres per 100 km, which is equivalent to CO2 emissions of about 70 g/km. The monocoque, consisting of carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP), reduces the car's weight and delivers remarkable rigidity and precision. Other highlights are the car's fully variable aerodynamics, adaptive rear axle steering and "top pipes" exhaust system which routes the pipes upwards. All of this makes the Porsche 918 Spyder a super sports car for the future, even though the styling of the prototypes is reminiscent of historical models.

The latest test vehicle is now turning laps in the legendary Martini® Racing look of many historic Porsche race cars, particularly from the 1970s. More than nearly any other race car design, the Martini® Racing look quickly attained cult status in those times and is still in vogue today. Martini® was already the official partner of the Porsche factory team between 1973 and 1978. Back then, the attractively designed "Martini® Porsche" race cars with their numerous victories were a centre of conversation. These victories included finishing first overall at Targa-Florio in 1973, winning the Sports Car World Championship in 1976 and overall victories at the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1976 and 1977. As early as 1971, a Porsche 917 finished first in the legendary endurance race in Le Mans with the support of Martini®. Whether a Porsche 908, 917, 935 or 936 or one of various 911 RS or RSR models, common to all of these race cars was the memorable Martini® Racing design implemented in a wide variety of forms.

Now, a new edition of this successful partnership is making the Martini® Racing design exclusively available to the innovative 918 Spyder. Porsche AG and the Martini® brand, represented by Bacardi & Company Limited of Switzerland, have once again signed a partnership agreement to make this possible.