What an odd way to mount a hardtop on a vehicle.
Jannarelly debuted the hardtop for the usually topless Design-1 in late December, but the company held off the reveal of the odd way the roof works until now. On most roadsters the top would just sit in place or maybe fold into the rear on vehicles like the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF. However, Jannarelly’s design tilts forward so that its easier for occupants to get inside the low-slung vehicle.
The Design-1’s removable hardtop has a design that goes way beyond the traditional panels. The standard roadster has a stubby windshield with no A-pillars, so this piece includes both of those parts. An additional crosspiece mounts between the nacelles behind the seats and create a latching point for the rear of the roof. When open, it reminds us of a fighter plane.
The roof's design looks interesting, and we can’t wait to see it in real life rather than renderings. In these images, there’s no visible way to open the windows, so the cabin might get hot on a summer day. We also wonder how easy it is to remove the top from the hinges in front and enjoy open-top driving again.
The Design-1 aims to be a boutique sports car that’s actually affordable. Prices start at the equivalent of about $55,000 for a true roadster with a mid-mounted, Nissan-sourced 3.5-liter V6 producing 304 horsepower (227 kilowatts) and 274 pound-feet (371 Newton-meters) of torque. A six-speed manual sends power to the rear, and the firm claims 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour) can come up in around four seconds.
The roadster’s shape comes from Lykan HyperSport designer Anthony Jannarelley. The body uses a mix of carbon fiber and fiberglass, and the chassis underneath is a tubular steel space frame with structural aluminum panels.
In June 2016, Jannarelly reported having 20 orders in place for its roadster. A recent post on Facebook shows several cars in various states of assembly. For now, the model is available in Dubai and in Europe through Marcassus Sport in Toulouse, France. The company eventually wants to sell the Design-1 in the United States, too.