How does a brand like Dodge keep too many people from spoiling a secret such as the 2018 Dodge Challenger Demon? By using colloquial codenames, that’s how.
Along with Dodge confirming to us during a recent Challenger Demon drive event, a new episode of Autoline details just how far Dodge went to ensure only a handful of people were aware of the Challenger Demon’s existence and it started with a codename. Instead of a fancy, ear-catching reference name, engineers and those involved in the Challenger Demon project simply referred to the car as “Benny.” Such a mundane name hardly raised eyebrows around the water cooler, we reckon.
That’s not all. Dodge went even further to cover the Challenger Demon’s tracks. When Dodge tested the mighty 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine on the dyno, engineers recalibrated the dyno gauges to make it look like a regular Hellcat engine was undergoing tests. No one knew the powerplant was actually producing up to 840 horsepower on 100+ octane fuel.
We’ve seen similar tactics from Chevrolet, when the fifth-generation Camaro Z/28 was codenamed “Steve.”
The efforts worked so well that only a couple dozen people knew about the 2018 Dodge Challenger Demon throughout its development and engineering phase. Secrets are often no fun, but when it comes to 840-hp muscle cars and a number of production-car firsts, they’re necessary.