What cars have pop-up lights?

Pop-up headlights were very popular in the 80s. This simple yet elegant feature made the car look sportier and bewitching. However, these headlights were discontinued because of safety reasons. Regardless, which cars have pop-up lights? 

At the moment, no manufacturer is creating cars with pop-up lights. This is because of the new regulations that require designing the front end of cars to be more readily deformable. Since it is pretty challenging to design hidden lights that comply with this law, many manufacturers don’t see the need of creating such lights. 

Some of the last cars to be released into the market with pop-up lights are the 2004 Chevrolet Corvette C5 and the 2004 Lotus Esprit. So, if you’re looking for a car with pop-up lights, you will have to consider the used car market as there aren’t new models being made. 

What are some of the most iconic cars with pop-up lights?

Aside from the Chevrolet Corvette C5 and Lotus Esprit, there are many other notable cars with pop-up lights. These include Cord 810, BMW M1, Ferrari F40, Lamborghini Diablo, Porsche 928, Maserati Ghibli, BMW 8-Series, Honda NSX, and Toyota 2000GT.  

Features of the 2004 Chevrolet Corvette C5

Since many cars made with pop-up headlights were made in the 80s and 90s, it is quite difficult to find a used car with pop-up lights in good condition. However, there are a handful of Chevrolet Corvette C5 models that were made in 2004. 

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The Chevrolet Corvette C5 had three different types of cars to choose from. These were the 2-door coupe, Z06 Coupe, and convertible. The base model was the 2-door coupe that retailed from $44,500. The most expensive model was the Z06 coupe, selling for over $52,300. 

All of these cars were lovely and elegant with simple yet attractive pop-up headlights. The Chevrolet Corvette C5 on a 5.7-liter V-8 engine, which was very powerful at that time. Besides, it also delivered up to 2350 horsepower and 360 lb-ft of torque. With a 4-speed automatic transmission, this is one of the finest cars of its generation. 

Additionally, the Chevy Corvette C5 boasted of leather seat trim, heated mirrors, front air conditioning, dual-zone automatic, fog lights, and driver & passenger lumbar support. On top of that, it had a rear-wheel-drive system, which was exceptional in most driving conditions. 

Features of the 2004 Lotus Esprit

Another car with pop-up lights that’s easy to find in the used car market is the 2004 Lotus Esprit. Unlike the Chevy Corvette C5, this car only offers a 2-door coupe. However, the car is very powerful, luxurious, and comfortable. 

The 2004 Lotus Esprit had a 3.5-liter V-8 engine that delivered up to 350 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Moreover, the car comes with a 5-speed manual transmission and a rear-wheel-drive system. With such features, the Lotus Esprit was a powerful and unique car. 

Like the Chevy Corvette C5, this car also had pop-up lights and leather seat trim. Other notable features include front air conditioning, driver & passenger lumbar support, 17-inch silver aluminum wheel, Keyfob, heated mirrors, and fog lights. 

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However, the Lotus Esprit was much costlier than the Chevy Corvette C5 as it has a base price of about $90,000. 


Are pop-up headlights legal?

Surprisingly, pop-up headlights are still legal. However, many manufacturers are not making cars with pop-up lights because of the strict laws that govern the designing of these lights and the high costs involved. Therefore, many manufacturers don’t see the need of creating them. 

What was the first car to introduce the pop-up headlights?

The first car to introduce pop-up or hidden headlights was the Cord 810 in 1936. During this period, these headlights were accepted because of their aerodynamic advantage. Besides, these headlights were of an ideal height that was desired by the authorities in the 1970s. 

Additionally, the headlights made the cars look sleeker and improve their aesthetics. Other cars that followed in the Cord 810 footsteps were the 1966 Maserati Ghibli, 1968 Opel GT, 1963Chevrolet Corvette, and 1972 Lance Stratos. 

Why were pop-up lights discontinued?

Pop-up lights were discontinued to protect pedestrians in case of a crash. Therefore, laws were put in place that needed the front end of cars to be readily deformable. So, since designing hidden headlights that match this law was challenging and expensive, many car manufacturers decided to discontinue the feature. 

Besides, after Europe set the laws, many manufacturers resorted to coming up with better lights that are also cost-effective. Some of these innovative lights are adaptive headlights and LED lighting technology. These solved most of the lighting challenges; thus, the need of having pop-up lights reduced immensely.  

When did Miata stop making pop-up headlights?

Like most car manufacturers, Mazda MX-5 Miata stopped making its legendary pop-up headlights in 1997. So, only the first-generation MX-5 Miata came with the pop-up headlights. This car is one of the bestselling Mazdas of all time as it sold over 400,000 units between 1989 to 1997. 

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What is the greatest car with pop-up headlights? 

It is pretty challenging to pick one car with pop-up lights as there are many classical cars to choose from. However, some of the greatest cars with pop-up headlights are Toyota 2000GT, Maserati Ghibli, Honda NSX, Vector W8, BMW 8-Series, BMW M1, Lamborghini Diablo, Porsche 944, and Ferrari F40. 

Most of the above cars were made between 1960 and 1990. The last production cars with pop-up headlights were made in 2004. Nonetheless, you can still find most of these cars in the used car market at exceptional prices. 


Currently, no manufacturer is making cars with pop-up lights. Nonetheless, there are several excellent used cars with pop-up lights such as the 2004 Chevrolet Corvette C5 and 2004 Lotus Esprit. Still, you can find some iconic cars with pop-up lights in the used car market, such as BMW 8-Series, Lamborghini Diablo, and Toyota 2000GT.  

When looking for a used car with pop-up lights, make sure to inspect it properly before buying. Besides, it is important to know that these cars were discontinued because of safety reasons. So, you may not be able to use these cars in some regions. 

Edwin Odipo

Why do you love writing about cars? Cars make our lives easy. You can visit your distant friend, relative or even rush to the grocery store a few miles from your home with a lot of ease. Imagine how life was before the invention of cars?? To me, cars are a blessing that made life more convenient.

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