Jannarelly certainly seems to have struck a chord with PHers with its lightweight, retro-styled, V6-powered roadster. And with a 499-car production run having recently been announced, as well as an official UK launch at the Blenheim Palace Salon Prive, Design-1 ownership could be closer than it seems. Though slightly pricer that it initially seemed, too.
Following our original story, the Dubai-based firm clarified to PH that the $55,000 price for which the car initially sold in 2017 was only possible in the UAE - thanks to a lack of taxes and greatly reduced logistical costs. Now, with the car set to become available in France, the UK and soon after in the US, pricing for European customers has been revealed.
In the UK, then, the Design-1 will set buyers back a minimum of £85,000, while French owners will have to fork out €96,000 to get behind the wheel. US pricing has not yet been disclosed, but will likely follow a similar structure. Jannarelly points out that the 2019 car boasts "new evolutions and accessories" to provide "even more unique driving sensations", but that price point does put it squarely in the sights of rivals like the Lotus Exige Sport 410 and new Porsche Boxster Spyder. Still, for those looking for something a little different, there's every chance the pared-back Design-1 could yet offer value for money. We'll look to find out for ourselves as soon as we can.
ORIGINAL STORY, AS REPORTED 18/07/2019:
Dubai-based firm Jannarelly is back, announcing a 499-unit production run of its Design-1 roadster as it prepares for the car's official UK launch at the Blenheim Palace Salon Prive. You may remember the retro machine from last year's Pikes Peak hillclimb, where it was scheduled to perform safety car duties in the hands of former BTCC driver Tom Onslow Cole. Unfortunately for him, another driver didn't quite get the memo, crashing the car on nearby public roads before the event had even begun, and receiving a citation for careless driving in the process.
But let's not allow that to put us off what looks and sounds, on paper at least, to be a very interesting concept indeed. Powered by a Nissan-derived 3.5-litre V6 producing 330hp, the Design-1 is capable of launching from a standstill to 62mph in under 4 seconds. That's thanks to its lightweight aluminium and steel tubular structure which, clad in composite panels, weighs in at 810kg. Tick in the full carbon fibre option and that figure falls further still, to just 760kg.
Originally envisaged as a one-off machine for designer Anthony Jannarelly - the man behind W Motors' Lykan HyperSport - himself, online enthusiasm is said to have persuaded him to put the car into production. The retro-styled two-seat, rear-wheel drive roadster is described as offering, "perfect sports car poise and balance" and "an exhilarating driving experience," with a variety of options including hardtop, canopy cover, low-level windscreen and both interior and exterior customisation available. UK pricing is as yet undisclosed, however the Design-1 carries a starting price of $55,000 abroad, where the car has been available for some time.
Asked what inspired him to create the Design-1, Jannarelly said: "I was often asked if I drove a Lykan and the more I said no, the more I wondered what kind of car I would like to drive on a daily basis. I started sketching some ideas during a flight and then met my now partner, Frederic Juillot, who made boats and composite parts and is also based in Dubai."
David Bagley, Co-Founder & Sales Director of Salon Privé added: "I'm thrilled that Anthony, and Thomas Ceccaldi, Director of Jannarelly Paris, have selected our event to launch the thrilling Design-1 to the UK market. In spite of our continued growth, we have been able to maintain the ambience and atmosphere that makes Salon Privé such a uniquebelieve is perfect for presenting such a specialised brand as Jannarelly. By and large, the guests who attend the event are knowledgeable, well-heeled enthusiasts and I'm confident that they will welcome this fabulous new sports car brand when it is unveiled on the lawns of Blenheim Palace."
Whether or not the knowledgeable, well-heeled enthusiasts of the PH forums will welcome the Design-1 to the UK remains to be seen - much of course will depend on its capability to deliver the goods on UK roads. We'll look to find out for ourselves as soon as possible.