As the new year gets underway, Anthony Jannarelly finds himself one of the busiest men in the automotive world. We recently looked at two of his very cool but very different designs in the W Motors Fenyr Supersport and Zarooq Sand Racer. Now he's working to get his own eponymous company off the ground with the Design-1. Inspired by the timeless roadsters of the 50s and 60s, the mid-engined Design-1 is cruising toward a launch later this year.
We always enjoy checking out Anthony Jannarelly's designs, but we think his network of colleagues could use a better wordsmith. "W Motors," "Sand Racer" and "Design-1" are some of the least inspiring names that have ever been slapped on a car body, especially when you consider the interesting designs that they label.
Using one's surname for a sports car brand, on the other hand, is a time-honored tradition, and Jannarelly joins the ranks with his new company, started in collaboration with Frederic Juillot, the carbon fiber specialist also involved in the Zarooq Sand Racer. It's clear Jannarelly, the man and designer, plans to use his company to continue enthralling eyes with his special breed of automotive penmanship.
The Design-1 is a much more restrained effort than the two highly stylized W Motors cars, a clean homage to a simpler time in motoring history. Anyone familiar with roadsters of the 50s and 60s could certainly come up with a number of comparisons, including but not limited to the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa (which Jannarelly happily admits was an influence) and AC Cobra.
While clearly inspired by a few of the greats, the Design-1 has plenty of personality of its own, its long carved front fenders giving it the feel of a powerful piece of machinery bursting forward from its sturdy rear haunches. Those flowing fenders belie the car's short 152-in (3,860-mm) length (the 2016 Mazda MX-5 is 154 inches for comparison) and trick the mind into assuming a front-engine layout. The 304-hp 3.5-liter Nissan V6 driving the rear wheels will actually reside just behind the seats, however. That power plant will work in tandem with a six-speed manual transmission and limited slip differential.
The lightweight, simple construction of the Design-1 is set to include a tubular steel chassis with structural aluminum panels, carbon fiber or fiberglass non-structural body panels, a tiny windscreen, and a simple, driver-focused two-seat interior. Front and rear double wishbones with fully adjustable dampers will cushion the Toyo R888-wrapped alloy wheels.
"The Jannarelly isn't a car that will underline your status but one that will also reflect what you look like on the inside," Jannarelly says in a press release. In other words, it's quite opposite of the Lykan Hypersport and its excessive price tag and ridiculous bling, a true driver's road/track car underpinned by a playful open-top design, 1,565-lb (710-kg) weight, and emphasis on customization. Jannarelly lists 0-62 mph (100 km/h) acceleration at four seconds and top speed at 135 mph (217 km/h).
Jannarelly is preparing the first Design-1 prototype at its Dubai facility and intends to have it ready next month. It will start sales with a launch edition that includes a carbon fiber aero kit, leather package and chrome accessories for US$55,000, with deliveries to begin in Northern Hemisphere Summer 2016. In terms of customization, Jannarelly plans to add a full catalog of accessories and components in the future.
"You can play with body parts, add a windscreen, change the back side, add a hard top and aerodynamic elements... possibilities are endless," promises Juillot.