If you saw the latest round of Porsche 918 spy shots – which wrapped the forthcoming supercar in an odd black-and-white version of the Martini racing livery – and wondered what the car would look like in a full-color Martini livery, you’re in luck.
Porsche released this batch of photos today showing a 918 Spyder prototype painted in the same Martini scheme, but this time with its stripes painted in the traditional Martini Racing colors of red, navy blue, and cerulean. It’s not the first time we’ve seen a 918 painted in a historic 917 racing scheme (earlier press photos showed one painted like the #3 car entered in the 1970 Daytona 24 Hours race), but there’s just something about seeing the Martini colors applied to the 918’s sinewy form that takes our breath away. We’re already having flashbacks to the #22 917 LH that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1971.
We doubt this is a colorized-version of the Martini-branded 918 Spyder prototype spotted earlier at the Nurburgring. Not only is its number plate different (S XR 42 vs. S ZL 23), but it bears different exterior numbers (23 vs. 15) and lacks both the chin-mounted canard spoilers and fixed rear wing seen on the Nurburgring car. Porsche’s mum on that vehicle, but does note in its release that a ‘Ring lap time of “under 7:22” has been a longstanding goal in the 918’s development.
Porsche does note that 918 development has entered the next phase, though it doesn’t detail exactly what that entails. From what we can see in these photos, the interior trim is certainly looking closer to being production ready. Bucket seats sport fanciful chromed harness pass-throughs, embroidered 918 Spyder logos, and contrasting piping applied around the outer edges of the seatbacks. Matching piping is applied to both upper door panels, which continues uninterrupted as it wraps around the top of the instrument panel. Arguably, the only elements that don’t quite seem ready for primetime are the exterior lighting components – look closely, and you’ll spot the make-shift turn signals in the headlamp assemblies, the parts-bin front marker lamps that don’t sit flush with the body lines, and the 911 tail lamps that are mounted just slightly askew.
Expect those details to be ironed out in short order, as production is supposed to start on September 18 (9/18, get it?) of 2013. We can only hope Porsche sees fit to replicate some of these liveries on actual production 918 Spyders, much like how Ford replicated the JW-Gulf livery for the Ford GT. Perhaps Porsche’s note on how it’s established an agreement with Bacardi & Company to make the Martini livery “exclusively available to the 918 Spyder” is but a hint of things to come, or perhaps it's a hint at who may sponsor Porsche's future return to Le Mans. Stay tuned...