The CAR Top 10: the best cars for a solar eclipse

Published: 20 March 2015

Solar-powered cars, bad names and more astronomical automotive fun

Much of northern Europe today experienced a solar eclipse, which got us thinking of astronomical vehicles. Don't ask us why - it's just the way our brains work. Read on for CAR magazine's guide to the best cars for eclipse watching.

1) The Peugeot 401 Eclipse

The Peugeot 401 Eclipse

Not only is this elegant 1930s Peugeot named after a solar activity, it also sported an early version of the 308 Coupe-Convertible's folding metal roof. All the better for watching the astronomical effects overhead - and a reminder how wrong Peugeot got the style with its more recent cabrio efforts...

2) Nissan's glow-in-the-dark Leaf

Glow-in-the-dark Nissan Leaf

We can confirm that Peterborough went briefly shadowy for a few minutes - but it was hardly a black-out. Just in case, we had a glow-in-the-dark Nissan Leaf on standby. It seemed a bright idea at the time.

3) Mitsubishi Eclipse

Mitsubishi Eclipse

Mitsubishi sold four generations of the Eclipse sports car in the US, China and the Middle East, until its light was extinguished forever in 2011. Snuff...

4) Anything driven by petrolhead and Pink Floyd member Nick Mason

Nick Mason at Goodwood. Not on the dark side of the moon

Dark Side of the Moon and that...

5) Ford C-Max Solar Energi

Solar panels on Ford C-Max Solar Energi

Ford shone at the 2014 CES show in Las Vegas when the Blue Oval's solar light show explained how a clever solar-panel-equipped C-Max could go totally off-grid. They've done vinyl roofs, but Dagenham Motors can't yet offer solar ones. 

6) Atomik 500 Lunar 2

A Fiat 500. Styled to look like a moon buggy...

Barmy 2010 concept took a Fiat 500 and gave it the look of a lunar buggy. That alone surely sunk its prospects - the fact that it cost £105,000 merely torpedoed them altogether. Out of this world!

7) Nissan Sunny

Nissan Sunny

All its rivals at the time eclipsed the Nissan Sunny. Things got even gloomier when it transformed into the Almera, although we saw a glimmer of hope when it became the Qashqai.

8) VW Amarok Dark Label

VW Amarok looking dark and broody

If a regular Amarok pick-up on your driveway doesn't obscure the light into your house, this Dark Label special edition and its midnight black accents should. NB - not to be confused with Black Label whiskies.

9) Ford Fiesta Black

Ford Fiesta Black

A current special edition Fiesta takes the obscure dark colour theme to a new extreme. Judging by this photograph, it matches the 98% eclipse rate experienced in Scotland today - with just a few rays of solar red peeking through.

10) Nasa lunar rover

The real McCoy: the only lunar vehicle with any cred

Well, if you're talking astronomical eclipses, you may as well be fully prepared for anything...

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet