Fade to Pink: Dodge Changes Splitter Guard Color

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
fade to pink dodge changes splitter guard color

The yellow front splitter guards on Dodge’s Charger and Challenger have become a major point of conflict among automotive enthusiasts. In one corner, we have traditionalists who believe protective coverings used for shipping have no business appearing on a road-going car. In the other? A bunch of maniacs who think keeping the guards on adds something to the aesthetics, sort of like how you see people maintaining the stickers and tags on a new baseball cap.

Your author has seen a Challenger where the protectors had been on so long, they became sun-bleached and had started to lose their color. Dodge/SRT design boss Mark Trostle expressed his distaste for the trend in October, saying the guards were never part of the concept drawings and basically just ruin the paint.

Despite the issue causing a ruckus online, including some top-shelf trolling, some people still refuse to take them off. Dodge appears to have a plan, however. It’s swapping the protective coverings’ coloring from yellow to hot pink, presumably in an effort to discourage the trend.

Car and Driver noticed the change over the last month and asked Fiat Chrysler to weigh in on the matter.

“The splitter guards on Dodge Charger and Challenger have taken on a life of their own. They originally made their debut in the 2015 model year to protect the performance fascias on SRT models during shipment from the manufacturing facility to the dealer, and, yes, they are designed to be removed before delivery. But today, they have their own Facebook page, and many of our performance enthusiasts have active debates on whether to keep or remove them. Some owners say they are even selling them in the aftermarket,” an FCA spokesperson said.

“Obviously, they weren’t part of the original design, so we started with yellow guards and shifted to pink, but they are still so popular that we may shift them yet again to black.”

While the trend encouraged many to post photos of their own Challenger or Charger with bananas or pool toys taped to the front splitter in jest, there are also kits ( both comical and legitimate) sold to help keep the guards pristine and protected. It’s a lot of attention to give something that’s supposed to be taken off at the dealership. But at this point salespeople know some customers might actually dig having them on, with a few providing the option to take them off at home.

Truth be told, the new hot pink probably looks decent juxtaposed with black paint — and this doesn’t seem any dumber than truck nuts or most bumper stickers. Still, it’s best to have the guards removed if you care about the condition of the enamel. Long-term usage of the guards tend to scratch up the paint rather badly as they’re buffeted by the wind. Besides, a bunch of Mopar enthusiasts will think you’re a moron for leaving them on.

[Image: Khairil Azhar Junos/Shutterstock]

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  • Make them any color you want dodge... **people are starting to custom paint them already**. Just make more colors people want and sell them for 300$ a set and make some money.

  • MiataReallyIsTheAnswer MiataReallyIsTheAnswer on Jan 17, 2020

    Changing the color would be of no deterrent at all if you like them on - Fusion spraypaint will bond to any material and let you pick any of a bunch of colors.

  • Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
  • William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.
  • Tassos The Euro spec Taurus is the US spec Ford FUSION.Very few buyers care to see it here. FOrd has stopped making the Fusion long agoWake us when you have some interesting news to report.
  • Marvin Im a current owner of a 2012 Golf R 2 Door with 5 grand on the odometer . Fun car to drive ! It's my summer cruiser. 2006 GLI with 33,000 . The R can be money pit if service by the dealership. For both cars I deal with Foreign car specialist , non union shop but they know their stuff !!! From what I gather the newer R's 22,23' too many electronic controls on the screen, plus the 12 is the last of the of the trouble free ones and fun to drive no on screen electronics Maze !
  • VoGhost It's very odd to me to see so many commenters reflexively attack an American company like this. Maybe they will be able to find a job with BYD or Vinfast.