Top Cars with Hidden Pop-up Headlights

Pop Up Headlights

Many car enthusiasts have enjoyed the sleek look of car 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.  In recent years, innovations in headlight design, such as the integration of LED headlamp bulbs, has allowed headlights to be situated on relatively extreme angles and still function properly, thus eliminating the need to use pop-up headlights in cars. New safety regulations in the U.S. have also encouraged the disappearance of pop-up lights in modern cars.  Although mechanical pop-up headlights may be cool in theory, they are typically not all that reliable and always a costly complex component to replace.

Prior to purchasing my C6 Corvette I asked a Corvette mechanic at my local Chevy dealer about the differences between the C5 and C6 generations.  He quickly responded, “Go with the C6.”  When I probed him he affirmatively said, “For starters the pop-up headlights will set you back about $850 a piece and they all go out eventually.”  I was already leaning towards the C6 so that was enough to secure my decision.  Beyond this, pop-up car headlights can annoyingly be frozen shut in cold weather. Although we don’t have pop-up lights in vehicles today, there a number of other headlight innovations that are arguably just as cool.  For example…

  • Headlights that automatically activate/deactivate based on the amount of light outside
  • Headlights that self level to ensure the beam is always pointed at the intended location, such as when the car is under a load and the headlights would naturally point upwards
  • Directional headlights that sense the curve in the road ahead and move  to illuminate it
  • Headlights that automatically switch between high and low beam where appropriate, such as the Mercedes-Benz “Adaptive Highbeam Assist” that controls the intensity of the lights to reach the back of the vehicle ahead of you
  • Night vision – obviously doesn’t eliminate the use for headlights, though offers additional clarity in night driving situations


Check out the list below of the top 25 cars with pop-up headlights and make sure to post a comment below and share what you think of automobile popup headlamps!


Pop-up Headlight Car Pictures:


Best Cars with Hidden Pop-up Headlights:

Hidden Car Headlights

Acura NSX (1990-01)
BMW 850CSi (1992-96)
BMW M1 (1978-81)
BMW M1 (1978-81)
Chevrolet Camaro (1967–1969)
Chevrolet Camaro (1967-69)
Cord 810/812 (1936-37)
Corvette Stingray Coupe (1963-67)
De Tomaso Pantera (1971–1974)
Dodge Charger Daytona (1969-70)
Dodge Charger RT (1966-70)
Ferrari 288 GTO (1984-85)
Ferrari 308 GTS (1975-85)
Ferrari 365 Daytona (1970-76)
Ferrari F40 (1987-92)
Ferrari Testarossa (1984–1994)
Jaguar XJ220 (1992-94)
Lamborghini Countach (1973-90)
Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster (1998-00)
Lotus Esprit V8 (2002-04)
Maserati Ghibli (1966-73)
Maserati Merak (1972-82)
Mazda RX-7 Type R (1992-1995)
Mercury Cougar (1967-70)
Nissan 300ZX Twin-Turbo (1990-96)
Pontiac GTO (1968-69)
Porsche 911 SE Turbo Slant Nose (1985-89)
Porsche 928 (1978-95)
Toyota 2000GT (1967-70)
Toyota Supra Turbo (1986-93)


One of the better pop-up headlamp designs in action:


Which was the best era for automotive design?

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