SRT vehicle owners tend to be very inquisitive, especially when it comes to the performance and styling of their vehicles. “Easter Eggs,” in the form of hidden (and oftentimes not so hidden) elements that add a touch of personality help make particular vehicles stand out from the competition.
The concept of “Easter Eggs” was originally hatched in the world of gaming. Designers of video games were often inclined to hide hints and elements from older games within a brand-new game. Some say this spawned auto designers to impart a similar tactic when looking to create unique characteristics on the interior and even exterior of vehicles.
“To some people, putting ‘Easter Eggs’ in vehicles may seem risky, but for the most part we like taking design risks,” says Ryan Nagode, Chief Designer, SRT Interior Studios. “The ‘Easter Eggs’ we put in our vehicles give customers something to talk about. They can show them to their friends and it gets people interested in the products.”
The design team at Chrysler Group LLC has continually added “Easter Eggs” to various vehicles within the portfolio. For SRT vehicles, Viper was the first to have specific SRT-related “Easter Eggs.” Those came in the form of track maps of Laguna Seca and the Nurburgring added to the interior of the supercar. While the majority of “Easter Eggs” are featured on the interior of vehicles, some areas on the exterior contain hidden goodies, such as the frit that masks the edges of the windows.
“We are always trying to insert ‘Easter Eggs’ in very subtle ways,” notes Nagode. “Down the road, we’re going to throw them in ‘without some of the permissions,’ and let people really be surprised. That’s the best way to do it. The range of possibilities going forward is huge, especially in terms of electronics.”
One of the most vivid “Easter Eggs” in the SRT Viper is the Stryker logo that lights up on the tachometer when the rev limit is reached. Additional screen- and electronics-related “Easter Eggs” that can be programmed through software have found their way into SRT vehicles in recent years. Through electronics, “Easter Eggs” have the capacity to evolve over the lifetime of vehicle ownership.
The reception to “Easter Eggs” on SRT vehicles has been very positive from both customers and automotive analysts. Media members enjoy the challenge of finding “Easter Eggs” as they test drive and review vehicles, and SRT vehicle owners revisit childhood memories of taking part in an actual Easter egg hunts.
“Including ‘Easter Eggs’ on vehicles puts a little stamp of personality inside and out,” says Nagode. “Customers see that a high level of thought was put into the car and that in turn makes people think about all the other areas of the car that are well-thought out as well. As a designer, you spend two or three years on a product before it sees the light of day, and it’s pretty cool to see these things acknowledged.”
Down the road, the trend of putting “Easter Eggs” into SRT vehicles will likely continue. For the inquiring minds of SRT vehicle owners, this will allow an opportunity to pay even closer attention to their vehicle and notice “the little things.”