UAE sports car maker's first roadster is a trip back to the future

The only production sports car to be built entirely in the UAE is about to hit the streets.

The final prototype of the retro-futuristic two-seat roadster, called the Jannarelly Design-1, has just made its first public appearances in Dubai, after months of fine-tuning to bring the dream to reality.

Anthony Jannarelly and Frederic Juillot, the co-founders of Dubai’s Jannarelly Automotive, unveiled the stunning vehicle at two events in the emirate, saying the car “represents the heritage and spirit of the 60s inspired roadster”.

That the Jannarelly looks so striking is no surprise: Mr Jannarelly is a car designer who styles the supercars for W Motors, the Lykan and the Fenyr Supersport. He also designed the upgraded off-road Zarooq Sand Racer, for which he joined forces with Frederic Juillot, a custom boat manufacturer and expert in composite materials.

The arrival of the car in its full form represents a major milestone for Jannarelly, and it has already caught the imagination of drivers wishing to own a modern take on the 1960s heyday of the classic sports car. The firm already has 20 orders for the speedster confirmed and these will be delivered within weeks.

“We worked hard before the unveiling to reach the aesthetic quality the design of the first Jannarelly deserves. Some parts are still at the prototype stage,” Mr Juillot said.

“We will be pushing further for our clients’ car to make sure they feel the quality and effort we put into each Jannarelly.”

The company chose to reveal the seductive lines of the road-legal track-ready racer at Tomini Classics, a gallery of timeless classic cars in Dubai.

“Tomini Classics was really the perfect place to launch the Design-1,” Mr Jannarelly said. “It was also challenging as we decided to surround our modern creation with some of the most iconic cars in the history such as the Ferrari Dino 246GT and the Shelby Cobra, among many others.”

Assyl Yacine, the head of the gallery, said the Design-1 was perfectly at home among the thoroughbreds of yesteryear.

“Influenced by cars like the Ferrari 250 Testarossa and the AC Cobra – cars that are very dear to us – the Jannarelly Roadster is blessed with a beautiful design which will turn heads everywhere,” he said.

“With a talented and dedicated team behind the car, we have no doubt that it will win automotive hearts around the region and the world.”

The Jannarelly Design-1 was then last week introduced at le Trésor: Classic Car café in Dubai where the first clients of Jannarelly met and chatted with visitors.

“It is clear, whichever generation you are from, that this car is the perfect meeting point between old and new, driving and racing – without the fuss and only pure joy as an experience all round,” said Gaurav Dhar, one of the first buyers of the new car.

Each roadster can be tailor-made to suit the buyer’s requirements and the company says clients can have any engine they want – provided it fits. While the 6.2 litre 2108 bhp powerplant from the forthcoming United Kingdom-built 323kph Arash AF10 Hybrid may be a little too beastly for the lightweight Jannarelly, it is highly unlikely any owner would plump for the puny heart of an altogether different classic from the 1960s; the Peel P50 bubblecar packed a single-cylinder punch of just 4bhp.

Jannarelly Automotive is so confident of its car’s appeal it has, for the past few months, been establishing its network in Europe in partnership with a specialist of lightweight sports cars, Marcassus Sport. The company is based in Toulouse, France and was the first seller of the UK-built Lotus sports cars in Europe, it said.

Now, Jannarelly Automotive is looking for the right partner to establish a strong relationship in North America, where its sports car has already fired up drivers’ imaginations.

“We are extremely happy to receive so many requests from the USA and Canada, up to now we have received around 80 potential orders and we would like to inform everyone that Jannarelly is working hard to get the Design-1 to America,” Mr Jannarelly said.

“We are talking with several importers and we are still open to new ones.”

The car is currently undergoing a thorough final testing programme before being delivered to its first customers within weeks.

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