- plastic splitter guards on the corners of the low front fascias started with the 2015 model year of dodge charger and challenger srt models.
- buyers refuse to remove them after delivery, and it has become a divisive issue for the mopar faithful.
- this isn't the most important issue in the automotive world, but really: aesthetics, people! plus, the guards ruin the paint eventually.
when dodge updated the charger and challenger for the 2015 model year, it added a piece of plastic on each corner of the low-hanging front fascias on srt models to help protect them during the shipping process. these plastic pieces—commonly referred to as splitter guards—have become a polarizing topic in the enthusiast community. in fact, some enthusiasts are so passionate on the topic that there is even a dedicated facebook group where nearly 12,000 members go to voice their disdain for the bumper bananas.
fast forward to 2020, and it seems that at least half of the chargers and challengers we see are afflicted with the hideous things. we can't be certain how or why this has become so trendy, but we'd like to point out that it says right on the piece, to be removed by dealer. in fact, c/d reached out to a couple of dodge dealers in our immediate vicinity to inquire about how they handle prepping these cars before they're purchased by a customer, and each one told us that they remove them per the instructions given by fca for the pre-delivery inspection process.
however, it seems that some dealers are bending under pressure from customers to leave them on, whether they are supposed to or not. in an interview with youtuber brian makse, dodge and srt design chief mark trostle addressed the issue, saying: "this is the final word. when we did the sketch for the charger and challenger, it never had yellow strips on it." he added, "i wish they would take them off, you're just ruining the paint!"
in the past month, we've taken notice that fca is changing over from the original yellow splitter guards (above) to an arguably even more obnoxious hot pink splitter guard (as pictured at top). whether this is a move by fca to discourage owners and potential shoppers from keeping them on, or perhaps to start a new fad, is hard to say.
an fca spokesperson was reluctant to take a stance, instead issuing a long statement to c/d: "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 they originally made their debut in the 2015 model year to protect the performance fascias on srt models during shipment from the manufacturing facility to the dealer, and, yes,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.
"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. wherever we land, this is another example of how our customers are passionate about every part of their dodge muscle cars."
the splitter-guard trend may die out, but for now it seems very much alive. if it were us, though, we'd prefer them in the trash where they belong, and quite possibly on fire, too.