10 Worst Cars of the 20th Century


Jaguar XJ220

The Jaguar XJ220 (Creative Commons/Flickr/jaguarmena)
The Jaguar XJ220 (Creative Commons/Flickr/jaguarmena)

The poor Jaguar XJ220 makes the list of worst cars only because it was so promising -- and then it let people down harder than a "Star Wars" prequel. An underground group of after-hours Jag designers created the car with almost no input from the suits. When it was unveiled in 1988 as a concept, people went mad for it. It had a V-12 engine, all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering (in the 1980s!), and the hallmark of a supercar, cool doors that opened upward, scissor-style. It had a half-million dollar price tag, but people with that kind of cash on-hand plunked down nearly $100,000 just to reserve one.

Those buyers probably also had enough money to buy themselves a new hobby to pass the time, because the XJ220 wasn't actually produced until 1992, and then it was a massive disappointment. Thanks to emissions regulations, the XJ220 engine was swapped out for a six cylinder. It was rear-wheel drive like any old muscle car, and -- most unforgiveable -- the doors opened like normal. As expected, those people who paid six figures to reserve an XJ220 up to four years prior now refused delivery -- and in a classy move, Jaguar sued them for breach of contract.