Chrylser loads Jeep with 'Easter egg' surprises

"Easter Egg" details on the new Jeep Wrangler "Easter Egg" details on the new Jeep Wrangler include a small decal of the front grill on the inside of the windshield. Photo Credit: Scripps Howard News Service / Toledo Blade

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Easter Egg details on the new Jeep Wrangler include a small decal of the front grill on the inside of the windshield. Look closely at the Jeep Wrangler and youll see several small tributes to the Willys model that started it all 60-plus yearsago.

On the windshield, on the front seat passengers forward grab bar, and on each of the four rims are little styling cues that harken back to the Jeeps heritage as a do-all troop hauler in World War II.

Some are more prominent than others, but collectively, Chryslers designers call them Easter eggs little designs left behind to be found later.

Its something that started three or four years ago and its really taken off. Now I have to almost control it, said Ralph Gilles, Chryslers vice president for product design. They can get out of hand. But (designers) are so proud of what theywork on, they really are. Its almost like actively trying to leave a legacy for the next generation.

At Chrysler, Easter eggs arent confined to the Wrangler, though the model has several, including a Jeep grille logo above the rear-view mirror and a silhouette of a Jeep climbing a rocky hillside in the passenger corner of the windshield. The grabbar is embossed with Jeep and Since 1941.

The newest comes on the rims of all 2013-model year Saharas and Rubicons with a small but unmistakable Willys Jeep silhouette.

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Gilles said the silhouette marks the 10th anniversary of the Wrangler Rubicon, a more rugged and trail-ready version of the Wrangler.

The wheel of a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara salutes the companys past with a small decal in on the lower left portion of the wheel at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The same silhouette is also hidden away in the headlampassembly of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Wrangler is always going to be the original, Gilles said in an interview last month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Willys Jeep is kind of the godfather of the brand.

Small semi-hidden design elements have shown up on other cars over the years. Since the 1990s, Chevrolet Corvettes have had small icons of a baseball bat, hot dog, apple pie, and Chevrolet bowtie logo stamped into metal that would normally be coveredwith carpet near the rear speakers, recalling the lyrics from a classic 1974 Chevrolet ad.

The practice is far from exclusive to the auto industry, however.

The idea of creating these moments of discovery in a design that reinforced a purchase, thats very common in design. Apple excels at it, said Dan Cuffaro, chairman of the industrial design department at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

Cuffaro said including small details consumers perhaps werent aware of at the time of purchase allows them to discover them later as a sort of reward for their purchase. An example he gave from a few years ago was one of the cell phones withchangeable faceplates. A smiley face was etched into the metal underneath the cover.

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It was something the average person might never come across, he said. They have to change their faceplate and there

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