My buddy and fellow Dodge Garage contributor Josh Welton recently talked about how an enthusiast car needs to have authenticity. I agree with that, but I’ll go a step further…an enthusiast car has minutiae. Little things that make it stand out. Details that folks like you and I latch on to and recite when we’re telling people about our vehicles. We’re all guilty of it: “I have a such-and-such car with the so-and-so wheels in the yadda yadda color that was custom ordered by the brother of the owner of a dealership in West Nowhere, USA…it’s a One of One!”
But, what happens when car enthusiasts are the ones designing those vehicles from the start? You get minutiae actually engineered in. They call those details “Easter Eggs” – little hidden gems that give you a thrill when you find them. I wanted to find out more about Easter Eggs, so I went right to Mark Trostle, Head of Dodge and SRT® Design. “It’s about attention to detail, thoughtfulness,” he tells me. “Putting those things in the car’s design make it that much more special as customers and owners.”
There’s a difference between good design and Easter Eggs. The parking stub holder in a sun visor is good design. A 100-year-old logo hidden under a door panel is an Easter Egg. We’re talking about things that make you smile, details that don’t make the vehicle drive better, but definitely make it a better vehicle.
Here are some of our favorite Dodge Easter Eggs:
A In the Gen 5 Viper, the passenger door handle features a small track map of the Nurburgring honoring our production car lap record there. B Also the GEN 5 Viper, under the cupholder between the seats, there is a track map of Laguna Seca.
If you own a Gen 5, I certainly hope you’ve seen the Easter Egg on your dash: a big Stryker logo that lights up and turns red when you head toward the V10’s rev limiter!
Trostle also points out, “The heat extractors in the hood are in a snakeskin pattern. We used the same pattern in the taillights and grille”
The 2015 redesign was clearly aimed at the 1971 Challenger with the grille, tail lights, tic toc tach and even the shape of the dash and center console. Those could be argued as “design cues” more than Easter Eggs, but lots of folks don’t realize the link
The inside center console lid is a Dodge Brothers logo
Look for the Dodge Challenger logo in the lower driver’s side corner of the windshield. Specifically, the SRT Demon has its own version with the widebody muscle car doing a huge burnout!
The inside of the Air Catcher inlet is lined with Easter Eggs: SRT Hellcat, SRT Demon and T/A in each of those models.
The center console features the outlines of each generation of minivans
There is an outline of the Detroit Skyline low in the dashboard cubby
The new 2019 Ram 1500
There’s an embossed history of Ram pickups underneath the center console
Jeep® has literally dozens of hidden Easter Eggs across their vehicle lineup
Grand Cherokees hide “Since 1941” and an original Willys Jeep in the headlights
Jeep Wrangler has a number of Willys Jeep references, including on the new JL shifter
Renegade features no less than 30 hidden Easter Eggs. Some favorites:
Lights and panels shaped like military Jerry Cans
Inside the fuel filler is a nod to FCA’s Italian heritage; a small spider saying “Ciao, Baby!”
A Bigfoot embossed into the rear glass
Obviously, it’s no secret that in recent years, Dodge has spent a lot of effort to honor our past in current vehicles, but by paying homage to what got us here, we reach forward, leaping into the future with our own personality and style. Mark says, “It’s not just an Easter Egg for the fun of it, it’s thoughtfulness of the brand. Why not design it in?” That minutiae lends a brand authenticity and gives owners that certain something to grasp on to.
What is your favorite Easter Egg? Tell us about it in the comments below!