Not all new cars are great

2019 was a great year for the auto industry. We’re seen hundreds of debuts that included awesome supercars, cool sports cars, roomy SUVs, and innovative electric vehicles.

Several iconic nameplates, including the Volkswagen Golf, Porsche 911, and Toyota Supra, spawned new generations, while crazy-looking models like the Tesla Cybertruck made their global debuts. But the industry also had its share of not-so-spectacular debuts and we’re here to discuss just that in a list that features the worst debuts of 2019.

Jaguar F-Type

Year End Review - The Absolute Worst New Cars of 2019 Exterior
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We've been expecting a new generation of the Jaguar F-Type for quite some time now, and needless to say, 2019 brought only a facelift.

Sure, the 2021 F-Type features a brand-new face with horizontal headlamps placed lower in the fascia and redesigned bumper vents, but the grille is the same. What’s more, the F-Type’s front end lost its uniqueness through this facelift, as it now looks similar to the Audi R8. Sadly, these front end revisions aren’t backed by notable updates to the profile and the rear end. The same goes for the interior, where highlights include just a larger infotainment display.

Jaguar did introduce some engine upgrades, but nothing spectacular.

The 2.0-liter four-cylinder and the 3.0-liter V-6 engines actually carry over with identical outputs. The base mill generates 295 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, while the V-6 cranks out 374 horses and 339 pound-feet of torque.

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There is a new 5.0-liter V-8, however, rated at 443 horses and 427 pound-feet.

The second notable change is that the F-Type R now features the more powerful engine from the SVR. Good for 567 horsepower and 516 pound-feet, it generates an extra 25 horses and 14 pound-feet over the old R powertrain. The most disappointing news is that Land Rover’s hybrid system didn’t make it in this model.

2020 Jaguar F-Type specifications
Engine: supercharged, 5.0-liter V-8
Power: 567 horsepower
Torque: 516 pound-feet
0 to 60 mph: 3.6 seconds
Top speed: 186 mph

Check out more details on the 2021 Jaguar F-Type

Ford Mustang Mach-E

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Exterior
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The Mustang Mach-E is Ford's first all-electric crossover and the company's first mass-produced electric vehicle.

It’s also an appealing vehicle design-wise, while its cabin feels modern and it’s packed with state-of-the-art technology. In many ways, it’s a more appealing option to the Tesla Model X. So what’s it doing on this list?

Well, we feel like Ford rushed the development and market launch of the Mach-E. The American company has fallen behind in the EV market and it’s desperately trying to catch up on the competition. The Mustang Mach-E is the result of this effort, but things might go sour once the Mach-E hits dealerships.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Exterior
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Developing an EV is as difficult as it gets, especially went you want a commercially successful vehicle.

Ford didn’t take too long to put the Mach-E together and this may results in various issues once these SUVs hit dealerships. Tesla went through similar troubles with the Model S and Model 3 in the past and Elon Musk’s company has far more experience in this field. Expect some recalls for the Mach-E in its first years on the market. Also, the use of the Mustang and Mach-E monikers are very controversial, as purists feel they’re not appropriate for the SUV and that they dilute the legacy of the pony car.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E specifications
Drivetrain: dual electric motors
Power: 459 horsepower
Torque: 612 pound-feet
Range: up to 300 miles
0 to 60 mph: less than four seconds
Top speed: at least 130 mph

Read our full review on the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Mercedes-Benz EQC

2019 Mercedes-Benz EQC Exterior
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Mercedes-Benz made a big fuss about creating its very own electric vehicle division and launched the first dedicated EV from the this series, the EQC, in 2019.

Essentially a slightly larger GLC with a new front fascia, the EQC isn’t a bad idea. It has enough unique styling features to stand out in the company’s SUV lineup and it’s just as luxurious as any other Mercedes-Benz in the right trim. But it’s not what it should be in terms of performance. The EQC falls behind the Tesla Model X and it won’t be able to compete with the upcoming Ford Mustang Mach-E either.

Specifically, its dual-motor powertrains generates only 402 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque.

Now I’m not trying to say that it sucks. On the contrary, this is a solid rating for a modern EV, but it falls behind the range-topping versions of the Model X and the Mustang Mach-E. The former for instance, comes with 762 horsepower on tap, while the range-topping Mach-E will offer 459 horses and a whopping 612 pound-feet.

Mercedes-Benz EQC specifications
Drivetrain: dual electric motors
Power: 402 horsepower
Torque: 564 pound-feet
Range: up to 200 miles
0 to 60 mph: 4.9 seconds
Top speed: 112 mph

Now you may argue that the EQC isn’t far behind the Mach-E, but it’s actually notably slower.

2019 Mercedes-Benz EQC Exterior
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While the German SUV hits 60 in 4.9 seconds, the Mach-E will be able to do it in less than four. Likewise, the Model X destroys the EQC with a 0-to-60 sprint of only 2.7 seconds.

Even the Jaguar I-Pace, which generates a bit less oomph at 394 horses and 513 pound-feet, hits 60 mph quicker, in 4.5 clicks. When it comes to top speed, the EQC will do only 112 mph, far less than any other competitor.

Range is also an issue. The EQC is able to return only 200 miles per charge. That’s 30 miles less than the least efficient Mustang Mach E and 100 miles less than the most efficient version of the Ford. The Model X delivers at least 305 miles per charge, while the I-Pace is good for around 240 miles.

Read our full review on the 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC

Bugatti La Voiture Noire

Year End Review - The Absolute Worst New Cars of 2019
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Just like it did with the Veyron, Bugatti is now rolling out several limited-edition models based on the Chiron. There is a big difference though: the French firm is fitting bespoke bodies to the Chiron's platform.

This is pretty cool, but Bugatti is overdoing it at times in a desperate attempt to link the supercar to its vintage, iconic models. The Centodieci for instance, inspired by the EB110, is a cool attempt, but the La Voiture Noire is just a pathetic attempt to revive the iconic 57 SC Atlantic.

Granted, Bugatti deserves credit for remodelling the Chiron’s body, but the Atlantic-inspired features make it slower to 60 mph and decrease its top speed compared to the supercar it is based on.

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Bugatti also made an awkward decision to display it at the Geneva Motor Show with electric motors under the hood, before it fitted the standard 8.0-liter W-16 gasoline engine.

Why not make it an electric production model since you’ve already tested the technology, especially since Bugatti claims it took two and a half years to complete this one-off? But despite not being very inspired or beautiful, and despite being slower than the Chiron, the La Voiture Noire was sold for an incredible €11 million ($12.2 million as of December 2019).

Bugatti LaVoiture Noire specifications
Engine: quad-turbo, 8.0-liter W-16
Power: 1,497 horsepower
Torque: 1,180 pound-feet
0 to 60 mph: 2.7 seconds (est)
Top speed: 236 mph (est)

Read our full review on the 2019 Bugatti La Voiture Noire

BMW X6 Vantablack

The BMW X6 Vantablack Is a Real Thing...If You Can See It Exterior
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This is just an X6 with a special paint that's actually intriguing.

The German automaker teamed up with Surrey Nano Systems to have an SUV painted in Vantablack. This is a very special coating that absorbs 99 percent of the light that hits it, so it looks incredibly black. It also hides most of the design features of the body, so the X6 looks flat from certain angles. This also makes the headlamps, the taillights, and the grille stand out even more, as if they’re just floating over a pitch black background. The X6 Vantablack is a black hole on wheels. Pretty cool right?

But there’s a big problem here.

As cool as this Vantablack coating is, BMW is just teasing us with something we can't have.

While Vantablack is commercially available, you can’t buy it unless you have a company and a well documented project for it. The folks at Surrey Nano Systems wouldn’t sell you a can of Vantablack if their lives depended on it. So what’s the purpose of this one-off car then? Reportedly BMW may want to use it to camouflage test car, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Simply because it would be far too expensive compare to wrapping a car the traditional way. Thanks for nothing, BMW!

BMW X6 Vantablack specifications
Engine: 3.0-liter inline-six
Power: 335 horsepower
Torque: 332 pound-feet
0 to 60 mph: 5.4 seconds
Top speed: 130 mph

Check out more details on the 2019 BMW X6 Vantablack

BMW i8 Ultimate Sophisto Edition

Year End Review - The Absolute Worst New Cars of 2019
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Bugatti isn't the only automaker that produces an annoying number of special edition cars based on a production model.

BMW does that as well. But while Bugatti bothers to alter the body and create unique features for almost each model, BMW likes to paint i8 electric sports cars in various paints and call them limited edition. They’ve been doing it for years and we already have a tradition in listing the i8 among the worst vehicles launched in a calendar year.

This years prize goes to the i8 Ultimate Sophisto Edition, introduced at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Limited to 200 units, this i8 features a grey metallic paint with copper accents and matching details inside the cabin. Does it have more power, extra features, and upgraded technology? No, it’s just a "here’s a fancy paint with fancy trim that will cost you extra" i8 that people will probably buy because... why not. Oh, it’s supposed to be send-off for the i8, which is actually good news. Too many special editions, too fewer updates for this five-year old hybrid.

BMW i8 Ultimate Sophisto Edition specifications
Drivetrain: 1.5-liter three-cylinder and electric motor
Power: 369 horsepower
Torque: 420 pound-feet
0 to 60 mph: 4.4 seconds
Top speed: 155 mph

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i8.

BMW 7 Series facelift

2020 BMW 7 Series Exterior
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The current-generation 7 Series is quite the cool luxury sedan.

It has plenty of engine options, it’s packed with state-of-the-art technology, it’s as comfortable as they get, and it can almost drive on its own. But BMW made a big mistake when it created the mid-cycle facelift. It made the headlamps skinnier and pumped the grille until it reached the size of a BMW SUV.

The 7 Series’ grille is almost as big as the X7 and that’s not even a compliment. Cars shouldn’t have grilles this big, especially if they’re supposed to be elegant. An even bigger problem here is that it seems the 7 Series started a trend, because the upcoming M4 will also feature a massive twin-kidney element. A couple of years from now BMW front fascia will probably be just a massive grille and tiny headlamps. And that’s not cool!

BMW 7 Series specifications
Drivetrain: 3.0-liter inline-six
Power: 322 horsepower
Torque: 332 pound-feet
0 to 60 mph: 4.8 seconds
Top speed: 155 mph

Read our full review on the 2020 BMW 7 Series facelift

Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition

Year End Review - The Absolute Worst New Cars of 2019
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What do you do when you have a 10-year-old car in showrooms and you still want to milk it? You link it to an iconic classic, slap a racing livery on it, and call it an anniversary model.

That’s exactly what Nissan did with the 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition. Launched in 2009, the 370Z is cool but awfully dated as of 2019. Its future is also uncertain. But Nissan wants to keep it in dealerships and came up with a way to keep enthusiasts interested.

So what’s this special-edition 370Z celebrating? It can’t celebrate 50 years of the 370Z, obviously, so Nissan linked it to its spiritual successor, the 240Z. Introduced in 1969, it became a successful import and an equally successful race car. In 1970, it even managed to win the SCCA championship, a feat it repeated in 1971. To celebrate this, Nissan slapped a livery inspired by the winning car on the old and tired 370Z. No engine updates, same performance as the regular coupe. What a waste of livery!

Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition specifications
Engine: 3.7-liter V-6
Power: 332 horsepower
Torque: 269 pound-feet
0 to 60 mph: 4.6 seconds
Top speed: 155 mph

Check out more details on the 2019 Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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