Gamechangers: 20 cars that shook things up

These days, manufacturers are exploring new niche-market vehicles you didn't even know you wanted. And, possibly, a few that you don't want. Choice in the market is huge (unless you're after a small, manual transmission wagon), with coupe-styled sedans, hybridized crossovers, diesel light pickup trucks, and almost anything else you could want.

But that wasn't always the case. For almost every automotive trend, there had to be a front-runner, a pioneering design that broke the mould and created its own market. It's why you see so many varieties of vehicle from manufacturers like BMW: they're simply trying to recreate the magic of being first to the punch.

Here is our list of twenty machines that broke new ground, making all our driving lives better in the process. They changed the game, playing by a different set of rules, and while not all thrilled, they certainly shook things up.

autoTRADER.ca listings for some of the cars mentioned in this article:

Ford Model T
Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle
BMC Mini
Porsche 911
Pontiac GTO
Ford Mustang
AMC Eagle
Datsun 240Z
Audi Quattro
Dodge Caravan
BMW 3-Series
Acura NSX
Mazda Miata
Lexus RX300
Toyota Prius
Tesla Model S

There were rules. These cars broke 'em.