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What Cars Have Pop Up Headlights


Pop-up headlights were a distinctive feature of many vehicles from the 1960s through the 1990s, adding a unique and stylish element to the design of cars. These headlights, which retract into the body of the vehicle when not in use, were not only functional but also contributed to the aesthetic appeal of the automobiles. 

While they have become less common in modern vehicles due to changes in automotive design and safety regulations, pop-up headlights remain iconic and evoke a sense of nostalgia for many automotive enthusiasts. In this discussion, we will explore some of the cars that featured pop-up headlights, highlighting their role in automotive history and their enduring popularity among collectors and fans.

Which car headlights pop-up?


  • Porsche 924. In an ideal world, we’d advise you to buy a 944, but it’s a little late for that – prices have gotten out of hand. 

  • Toyota MR2 (SW20).

  • Volvo 480. 

  • Mazda 323F. 

  • Lotus Elan. 

  • Chevrolet Corvette (C4).

  • Pontiac Fiero.


Pop-up headlights were a design feature that was popular in many cars from the 1960s through the 1990s. Some iconic cars known for their pop-up headlights include the Mazda RX-7, Toyota Supra, Chevrolet Corvette, and Porsche 928, among others. These headlights were typically housed in a compartment that could be raised or lowered manually or automatically when needed. 


Models like the Mazda RX-7, Toyota Supra, Chevrolet Corvette, Porsche 928, and the Lotus Esprit are celebrated for their innovative use of pop-up headlights. This unique design element allowed the headlights to be concealed when not in use, contributing to a sleek and aerodynamic appearance. 

Do any cars still have pop-up headlights?

14 Coolest Cars With Pop-Up Headlights (1 That’s Hideous), Updated October 2022: Sadly, pop-up headlights are never returning as a feature on road-legal cars. However, there are plenty of cool models on the used market, and that’s why we’ve updated this list with some more models in different price brackets, and with more information about them. In recent years, pop-up headlights have largely fallen out of favor in the automotive industry due to changes in safety regulations, design preferences, and advancements in lighting technology. 


Most modern vehicles are equipped with fixed headlights that are integrated into the front fascia of the car. However, there are still a few rare and limited-production vehicles that feature pop-up headlights as a nostalgic or retro design element. These cars often appeal to enthusiasts who appreciate the classic styling and unique character of pop-up headlights. In the contemporary automotive landscape, pop-up headlights have become a rarity due to several factors. 


Safety standards, aerodynamics, and advancements in lighting technology have shifted the industry towards fixed headlight designs. While most modern vehicles do not feature pop-up headlights, some exclusive or specialty models still incorporate this nostalgic design. Manufacturers like Ferrari and Lotus have occasionally paid homage to their classic models by incorporating pop-up headlights in limited-production vehicles.

Why are pop-up headlights illegal?

The Real Reason Pop-Up Headlights Vanished – The Back Roads, The reality is, safety regulations somewhat killed off the Pop-up headlight. This was mainly down to pedestrian safety regulations being tightened up and having a ‘sharp’ surface area was deemed too dangerous for most manufacturers to bother continuing with pop-ups. 


Pop-up headlights are not inherently illegal, but they may be subject to regulations and safety standards that restrict their use in modern vehicles. One of the main reasons for the decline of pop-up headlights is safety concerns. Fixed headlights are generally considered to be more aerodynamic and provide better visibility, especially at higher speeds. Pop-up headlights themselves are not inherently illegal, but their decline in popularity can be attributed to evolving safety and design standards. 


Fixed headlights are generally considered more aerodynamic, creating less wind resistance and contributing to improved fuel efficiency. Additionally, pop-up headlights may be more prone to mechanical failures and maintenance issues over time, which can compromise safety. Pop-up headlights, on the other hand, can be more susceptible to mechanical failures over time, potentially posing safety risks and leading to maintenance challenges. 

Are pop-up headlights illegal in India?

While most people believe pop-ups are completely illegal, this is not the case. The reality is pop-up headlights are perfectly legal. There are no specific laws in India that explicitly prohibit pop-up headlights. However, like in other countries, vehicles sold in India must comply with safety standards and regulations set by the government. 


As a result, most modern cars manufactured and sold in India are equipped with fixed headlights that meet the required safety standards. While there may be some older vehicles on the road with pop-up headlights, they are relatively rare, and their use is likely to diminish over time as automotive technology continues to evolve. There is no specific legislation in India that makes pop-up headlights illegal. However, all vehicles in India must adhere to safety and emission standards set by the government. 


As of now, pop-up headlights are not a common feature in the Indian automotive market, as manufacturers tend to prioritize fixed-headlight designs to meet contemporary safety and efficiency requirements. While older vehicles with pop-up headlights may still be found on Indian roads, their prevalence is decreasing as newer models conform to the latest automotive standards and technologies.

Which Ferrari has pop-up headlights?

1991 Ferrari F40 – Boost Badge Audrain Auto Museum, Debuting on the 40th anniversary of the Ferrari Corporation in 1987, the F40 was released as the brand’s new flagship car. With pop-up headlights using halogen bulbs, the F40 has an unmistakable and iconic design. One of the most iconic Ferraris with pop-up headlights is the Ferrari Testarossa. 


Produced from 1984 to 1996, the Testarossa is instantly recognizable for its sleek, wedge-shaped design and distinctive side strakes. The pop-up headlights were a defining feature of the Testarossa’s design, giving it a unique and futuristic appearance. While the Testarossa is perhaps the most famous Ferrari with pop-up headlights, there have been other models from the Italian automaker that also featured this design element, such as the Ferrari 308 and Ferrari F355. Among Ferrari models, the Testarossa is perhaps the most famous example of a car with pop-up headlights. 


Introduced in 1984, the Testarossa quickly became an icon of automotive design with its bold styling, powerful performance, and distinctive features such as the side strakes and, of course, the pop-up headlights. The Testarossa’s headlights were integrated into the front fascia in a sleek and seamless manner, adding to the car’s aerodynamic profile and futuristic appeal. While the Testarossa is the most well-known Ferrari with

How many cars have pop-up headlights?

Although 178 models of cars have been manufactured with popup headlights; this type of headlight design is essentially obsolete today. The practical benefit of pop-up headlamps was to allow a vehicle to be designed with a lower and sleeker front form than would be possible with the traditional upright design. Pop-up headlights were a popular design feature in the automotive industry during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, with many manufacturers incorporating them into their vehicle designs. 


While they were once widespread, pop-up headlights have become increasingly rare in modern cars due to changes in automotive design trends and safety regulations. As a result, the number of cars with pop-up headlights on the market today is relatively small. However, there are still some classic and vintage cars, as well as a few modern sports cars, that feature pop-up headlights as a nod to retro styling cues. 


However, as automotive design trends evolved and safety regulations became more stringent, the use of pop-up headlights gradually declined. Today, only a handful of modern cars still feature pop-up headlights, with the majority of models opting for fixed or integrated lighting solutions.

What was the last car with pop-up lights?

The last time pop-up headlamps graced a volume-production car was in 2004, marking the end of an era with the conclusion of the Lotus Esprit and Chevrolet Corvette (C5) production. The last car model to feature pop-up headlights was the 2004 Chevrolet Corvette (C5). The Corvette C5 was the fifth generation of the iconic American sports car and was produced from 1997 to 2004. While pop-up headlights had been a signature feature of previous Corvette models, the C5 was the last iteration of the Corvette to incorporate this design element. 


Following the discontinuation of the C5 Corvette, subsequent generations of the Corvette, including the C6, C7, and C8, have all featured fixed headlights as part of their design. The 2004 Chevrolet Corvette (C5) was the last production car model to feature pop-up headlights. As the fifth generation of the iconic American sports car, the Corvette C5 maintained the tradition of incorporating pop-up headlights as part of its design heritage. 


However, following the discontinuation of the C5 Corvette in 2004, subsequent generations of the Corvette, including the C6, C7, and C8, have all transitioned to fixed headlight designs. This marked the end of an era for pop-up headlights in the Corvette lineup, as newer models embraced modern styling cues and lighting technologies.


What are the benefits of pop-up headlights?

Initially the hidden headlamp was introduced for their aerodynamic advantages. The idea was that when not in use, they could be folded down to create a sleeker, and more aerodynamic silhouette. In reality, these advantages were minor. Pop-up headlights offer several potential benefits, both practical and aesthetic. From a practical standpoint, pop-up headlights can improve aerodynamics by reducing drag when the lights are not in use. 


This can contribute to better fuel efficiency and overall performance. Additionally, pop-up headlights can provide better visibility at night by positioning the light source at a higher level, reducing glare and shadows on the road. Aesthetically, pop-up headlights can give a car a sleek and futuristic appearance, enhancing its overall design and appeal. They also have a nostalgic charm that evokes a sense of classic automotive styling from past eras. 


Despite their declining popularity in modern cars, pop-up headlights remain a beloved feature among enthusiasts and collectors. Aesthetically, pop-up headlights can also give a car a sleek and futuristic appearance, adding to its overall appeal and design uniqueness. Despite their declining popularity in modern cars, pop-up headlights remain a beloved feature among enthusiasts and collectors, evoking nostalgia for classic automotive styling from past eras. 

What Cars Have Pop Up Headlights


Pop-up headlights were once a common feature in the automotive industry, adorning the fronts of many iconic cars from the past several decades. While their popularity has waned in recent years, these unique headlights continue to hold a special place in the hearts of car enthusiasts and collectors. 


Whether it’s the sleek lines of a classic sports car or the futuristic design of a vintage model, vehicles with pop-up headlights evoke a sense of nostalgia and admiration for their innovative engineering and timeless style. 


While they may be a rarity on today’s roads, their legacy lives on, reminding us of a bygone era in automotive design and sparking fond memories of cruising down the highway with the headlights popped up.



Vaishnavi vaish

Vaishnavi is an automotive enthusiast and writer with a passion for all things cars. With years of experience in the automotive industry, Vaishnavi brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Vroom's platform. Whether it's dissecting the latest car models, exploring industry trends, or delving into the intricacies of automotive technology, Vaishnavi is dedicated to providing readers with comprehensive and insightful content. From performance reviews to in-depth car comparisons, Vaishnavi strives to deliver accurate and engaging information to help readers make informed decisions about their next vehicle purchase. Explore the world of automobiles with Vaishnavi on Vroom and stay updated on the latest developments in the automotive world.

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