Industry news

5 Cars We Wish Had Pop-up Headlights

Vanishing from all new cars after 2004, pop-up headlights were are one of the most personifiable features of an old car. Not only did they ensure the car had clean lines when they were tucked away, but when they popped out they just looked cool. Even if they did ruin a car’s aerodynamics.

The last cars to come equipped with pop-ups were the C5 Corvette and Lotus Esprit in 2004. That was when the government changed their minds on the matter and decided that in an accident, the pop-up headlight would become a lethal weapon. You can’t really blame them.

However, let’s imagine this regulation was suddenly retracted. Which modern cars would you want to see with pop-up headlights?


This choice was a no brainer. The original MX5, well known for its pop-up headlights, may as well have been reincarnated with Mazda’s latest model of MX5. They moved away from the bulkier design of the Mk3 and focused on what made the original so good. Small, lightweight, and fun. The one thing they missed were the pop-ups.


The new NSX didn’t exactly pull at the heart string when it arrived last year. It got very mixed reviews from journalists even though it’s perfectly fast enough. It didn’t quite feel like an NSX though did it? Nor did it look the part. The fact that it was a hybrid didn’t do it any favours, either. But you know what it was really missing? Pop-ups. Just like the original.


This is a great little car. The latest special addition has 430 horses from a 3.5-litre V6 that can propel it to 60mph in just 3.7 seconds. And although it’s lighter than standard and comes with a few aerodynamic trinkets, it doesn’t quite have the theatre you expect from a Lotus. Maybe that’s just me, but I’ve never found any Evora overly appealing. the Esprit however, was very appealing with its V8 and… you guessed it, pop-up headlights!


The new rotary Mazda is coming, according to a Japanese magazine who say it’ll be showed off in the Tokyo Motor show next year. Mazda have done everything right with this one. They’ve kept the rotary (thank God), and it looks beautiful if the photos are anything to go by. But one of the most attractive parts of the original RX7 was of course its headlights. When I see one, which is rare, I’m always take back to the days of the first Fast and Furious. Dom’s RX7 is still my favourite car ever to fall under the F&F franchise.


This one might cause an argument, but I can’t stop thinking about the Ferrari Daytona when I see this. Same thing happened when I saw the F12 too, but this one’s newer. And it has a stupid name so it needs something to redeem itself. Apart from, of course, it’s ridiculous good looks, performance, and interior luxury. I’m not such a fan of the headlights, though. Which is why I believe this car would be a brilliant candidate for Ferrari to use to bring back pop-ups. Just don’t let it near a wind tunnel, because they might change their minds then.

What cars would you want to see with pop-up headlights? Let me know in the comments below!

Alex Harrington

Alex started racing at a young age so certainly knows his way around a car and a track. He can just about put a sentence together too, which helps. He has a great interest in the latest models, but would throw all of his money at a rusty old French classic and a 300ZX. Contact: [email protected]

Related Articles

Back to top button