Of course when Audi pulled the wraps off of its new R18 TDI last week the car was shown in a menacing matte black and exposed black carbon fiber. Audi has a tradition of showing its new cars in the so-called buff black most preferred by evil-doers and sith lords but the car is bound to get a new paint job or "livery" in racing speak though when that will first appear remains to be seen. Given Audi's announcement that an R15 "plus plus" will run at the 12 Hours of Sebring Audi racing fans may have to wait until late spring and the Le Mans Practice Session in order to get a look at the 2011 R18 livery. Never fear though, designers on the web have already begun imagining painted R18s of their own.
Take the shot above. João Pedro Ferreira has taken a classic Audi livery of white with the black/grey/red stripes as seen on everything from Audi's Pikes Peak racer to its IMSA, GTO and earliest DTM efforts and applied it in a modern way to the R18's curvaceous form. Pretty cool.
You can find Ferreira's Picasa web album after the jump though only this photo is housed there currently. Also check out more matte black release images of past Audi racecar introductions below. Thanks David for the tip.