Design-1 is the aptly named first model of Jannarelly Automotive, a Dubai based manufacturer of limited-series, hand-built vehicles, mostly with in-house components.
Penned by its Chief Designer Anthony Jannarelly, Design-1 embodies the brand’s “Retro-futuristic” concept. Its 325hp for just 810 kg enables a 0-100 kmph acceleration in under four seconds. However, this car is not about breaking performance records, but rather about recapturing the pure driving pleasure offered by the classics of the mid-twentieth-century.
“The Design-1 was intended to be a personal project, portraying what I wanted in a sports car today,” says Anthony. He Adds, “Design-1 is inspired by the timeless cars of the 60s, set out to unify design from yesterday with technology from today. This is a term we at Jannarelly call – Retro-futuristic.”
Anthony is a designer well known to this region’s collectors and enthusiasts of high-end, hyper-exclusive performance cars. His pen brought to life the distinctive lines of W Motors’ Lykan Hypersport and the Fenyr SuperSport models. He also designed the Zarooq SandRacer.
He then teamed up with Frenchman Frederic Juillot to co-found Jannarelly Automotive in 2016. While Anthony doubles as the brand’s Chief Product Officer, Frederic is the Chief Operations Officer. The brand’s CEO is Alexander Lee, with 20 years of experience in the automotive and technology sectors.
The retro-futuristic sports car concept of Jannarelly brand is built on four pillars: classically proportioned design, unfiltered driving experience, customisation and authentic customer interactions.
The curves and vents of the Design-1 unmistakably reminisce the Ferrari’s and AC Cobra’s of the days gone by, when cars were designed with pens and computers intervening between the driver and the road was unheard of. The car aims to achieve a perfect balance between unfiltered driving experience and sufficient practicality for road trips.
Design-1 was conceived with a “Le Mans barquette” configuration: a small aero screen, a tubular chassis and a 6-cylinder engine at the rear. However, clients in Europe more protection from the elements, which led to the development of three interchangeable profiles: Trackday, a roadster with a simple windscreen, the original design; Lifestyle, an open-top roadster with full windshield; Touring, a roadster with a hardtop which takes the weight up to around 850kg.
The car’s long-hooded proportions, like the classic front-engine sports cars of old, betrays its central rear engine and rear-wheel-drive layout. The car rests on a tubular steel and aluminium chassis, covered with carbon fibre or fibreglass body components. The removable hard carbon roof may be painted or left visible.
As the Design-1 was conceived to maximise driver experience, it was developed on the track as well as the road with minimal electronic driver aids. The driver’s skill is what drives this car, not electronics; as it is in most classic sports cars.
At the heart of Design-1 is the award-winning V6 3.5-litre engine sourced from Nissan. It is the latest generation of the engine that powers the Nissan 350Z, generating 239 kW and 371 Nm of torque. The car has a top speed of around 350 kmph. The V6 generates a raw, exhilarating noise for much of the rev-range through its twin pipes. The engine powers the rear wheels through an old-school six-speed manual transmission with no technological interference. An optional automatic transmission is available.
The front and rear wheels have double wishbones suspension with inboard shock absorbers at the front. The setup is mechanically adjustable to suit the required driving style, whether on the track or the road. The standard steering is not power-assisted, which means it may pose a challenge in the parking lot, but on the road, it offers exceptional and precise feedback from the front tires. The car also comes with parts to customise the car to make it more track or road-oriented.
The driver-oriented cabin focuses on functionality combined with quality materials. The cabin is not spacious by any stretch of the imagination, but it was never meant to be. Premium leather and carbon fibre are found throughout the cabin. Air conditioning controls are hidden under the dash, for a “neat and clean” feel. The control switches are within reach, with the instrument panel displaying the vital information in front of the driver. It offers the bare minimum in terms of creature comforts. For music and navigation, it has a Bluetooth system to connect to the driver’s phone, and a USB port to charge it.
Production of Jannarelly Design-1 is limited to 499 units. The brand’s plans include new variants of the Design-1 (including an electric variant) and the Design-2, a larger GT-style coupe.