In his time with W Motors, Anthony Jannarelly designed the Lykan Hypersport and the Fenyr SuperSport. After that, he freelanced with a group of moneyed enthusiasts to design the Zarooq SandRacer. The designer found a new partner in Frederic Juillot, a Frenchman who's Equation Composites company specializes in lightweight materials, to start Jannarelly Automotive. Nothing among those previous three vehicles is like Jannarelly Automotive's first creation, the Design-1, which has arrived on sale in the UK after five years in the design and production phase in Dubai. Limited to 499 units in roadster, coupe, or aero body styles, the Design-1 goes for Sixties-era aesthetic glory while aiming for "balance between unfiltered driving and sufficient practicality."
Composite body panels over a tubular steel frame chassis and plenty of carbon fiber components throughout the interior hold weight down, but carbon fiber panels can be specced for weight weenies. With the carbon panels, the mid-mounted, naturally aspirated, Nissan-sourced 3.5-liter V6 becomes a potent choice of engine; 325 horsepower and 274 pound-feet of torque need move only 1,786 pounds, so the dash to 62 miles per hour takes less than 4 seconds. The removable steering wheel turns an unassisted rack borrowed from a Lotus Elise, all power is sent to the rear through a limited-slip differential, and the 16-inch lightweight wheels are hung with Nitron dampers and springs. Top speed is 135 mph. When Pistonheads drove the Design-1, they called it, "More visceral than a Jaguar or Porsche but less compromised than a Caterham or Atom."
The cockpit embodies the philosophy of "A back to basics vehicle but with a bit of glamour." There are only three dials on the dash, although the dial on the right contains four inset gauges. There are a few toggle switches, an HVAC unit but no radio, leather-padded carbon fiber seats, and a six-speed manual shifter over an exposed linkage.
The aero body is fitted with a speedster-type windscreen up front, whereas the roadster gets a taller windshield. The coupe is created by buying a one-piece hardtop either in composite or carbon fiber that adds side windows and a new rear deck. To get in or out of the car, the front-hinged hardtop lifts forward at the cowl — an unusual and unforgettable look.
Hand-built and ultimately customizable, the Design-1 starts at £86,000 ($111,219 U.S.) before registration and VAT. Assuming all 499 units find buyers, we imagine there will be a Design-2 not far behind.