In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, the majority of Americans have been ordered to work from home if possible—including the Fiat-Chrysler design team led by Ralph Gilles—who it appears is taking the to play around with some sketches of a "future Dodge" of some sort. And while the orange "Hellcat" ride looks pretty slick, it's the built-in yellow splitter guards that are the highlight of the design.
"We are still having virtual design reviews while we self isolate & work from home," said Gilles on his Instagram account. "While we are NEVER to show future product on social media. I have made an exception this time as this experimental design of a #Dodge of the future fell on the cutting room floor...because the designer decided to make the yellow spoiler guards a permanent part of the theme. We had a really good laugh about it though!
SRT design boss Mark Trostle, who reports to Gilles, has gone on record expressing his dislike for the splitter guard covers, saying that "When we did the sketch for the Charger and Challenger, it never had yellow strips on it.”
Of course, no one at Dodge is going to actually tell their customers what to do with their cars, but the designers' tongue-in-cheek references to the trend is a funny and self-aware way for the company to revisit the issue. It’s a small sign that folks are finding ways to remain positive and entertained when so much has gone wrong in the last few days. And if you need another laugh, here's a group of Cars and Coffee goers who used pool noodles to poke fun of Dodge owners.
At the end of the day, you can love or hate the splitter guards, but one thing is for sure: Ralph Gilles and the FCA design team sure know their audience.
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