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VEHICLE “EASTER EGGS” CONTINUE TO BE A SWEET TREAT
One of the most popular features of some FCA US vehicles include the many symbols, icons and words or numbers found in and around the vehicles. We know them affectionately as “Easter eggs” — because they are desired and searched for much like a child looking for colorful, plastic eggs filled with sweets hidden during Easter. Their presence creates intrigue for owners who know they exist on the vehicles but may not be sure where to find them.
Easter eggs in vehicles go way back but how far is anyone’s guess. Indeed, there’s a bit of mystery as to how it all started. And there’s even less clarity on where they might go next. Mark Trostle, head of Mopar and Ram Design, provided a few insights on a few past Easter eggs but admitted the point of the Easter eggs in vehicles is to create continual intrigue. And so, says Trostle, the company isn’t willing to say much about them.
Some past and current Easter eggs include Jeep Brand headlamp shields — the relatively small cover that goes over a headlamp bulb — which the company designed with the Jeep® Brand’s trademarked seven-slot grille and round headlights. The shields are only about an inch wide and normally nobody looks closely at a headlamp. But there they are.
“When it comes to Easter eggs in our vehicles, ‘nothing’s off limits.’” — Mark Trostle, Director, Ram Exterior & Mopar®, Stellantis
Other examples abound: The backup lens on the tail lamp of the Dodge Viper sported a snakeskin pattern. Chrysler Pacifica and Ram Brand trucks have some of the past vehicles in the brand emblazoned in the center console. Somewhere on the current Ram 1500 TRX is an image of a Tyrannosaurus Rex about to eat a raptor.
You can find “1941” somewhere on a Jeep® Gladiator.
Which vehicles get an Easter egg? According to Trostle, you’re probably going to find an Easter egg on every vehicle. “Some are more prevalent than others,” he says. “And some vehicles lend themselves to it better than others. It’s more subtle on vehicles like the recently announced Grand Cherokee — more subliminal. But nothing’s off limits.”
Inspiration for vehicle Easter eggs comes down to what the vehicle’s opportunities are, says Trostle — basically, how the company can tie the Easter egg to the vehicle in which it will reside. There are lots of examples. You’ll see a smallish vehicle outline or icon on some of the vehicle windshields — that’s an easy one to find and enjoy. But some take a lot more searching. On some Dodge Brand vehicles you can find an old “Dodge Bros.” logo. On some Jeep® Brand vehicles, a pair of sandals.
Popular Easter eggs include the spider on the Jeep Renegade and the words “Caio, baby” (try to find it). A documented collection of FCA US vehicle Easter eggs and their history can be found, well, nowhere, officially. And the plans for future FCA US vehicle Easter eggs probably only exist in the heads of a few people in the design office or in each brand. And those plans probably change constantly.