The new Rolls-Royce Wraith Kryptos Collection has a labyrinth of secret codes
Each one of the Matrix-inspired coupes incorporates a range of hidden ciphers throughout its design.
Rolls-Royce has debuted a limited-edition version of its US$330,000 Wraith coupe that’s full of obscure codes. Limited to 50 cars, the new Wraith Kryptos Collection includes what Rolls-Royce describes as a “labyrinth of complex ciphers”.
The ciphers appear as normal design elements – incorporated into the headrests, dashboard and elsewhere – but actually carry within them a series of secret messages. The codes are so secret, in fact, that only two people on Earth know their meaning: the key to the code is in a sealed envelope in the office safe of Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös and was thought up by bespoke designer and amateur cryptologist Katrin Lehmann.
“As a designer, I’ve always been fascinated by the notion that you can communicate messages that are understood by only an elite few, using symbols, pictograms and ciphers,” Lehmann explains in the official statement.
The Kryptos name itself is derived from ancient Greek, referring to something ‘hidden’. “Ciphers can be traced through millennia, capturing the imagination of some of the world’s most brilliant minds,” Lehmann adds.
Clues start with the hood-mounted Spirit of Ecstasy – at the base of the figurine, a series of engraving in green enamel can be seen. In the sunlight, embedded blue and green mica flakes are made visible in the otherwise common Delphic Grey paintwork. Instead of the standard Rolls-Royce logo embroidered into the headrest, there are parts of a hidden cipher, and extra messages appear on the passenger-side decorative panels. The most eye-catching of symbols, however, is the data stream that flashes across the marque’s signature Starlight Headliner.
“It’s a game with many layers,” says Lehmann. “Finding the key becomes integral to appreciating the full meaning of an item that can otherwise be viewed simply as a work of art.”
Car enthusiasts will have to wait and see who will crack the code and what answers it will bring.
All images © Rolls-Royce