Rolls-Royce is known for making some incredible limited-run vehicles with wildly unique traits, like preventing you from speeding or (via an outside coachbuilder) permitting elegant dumps to be taken within its leather-slathered interior, but this seems to be the first time a limited run of Rolls-Royces has been inspired by both the look of the Matrix movies and that brain-teaser sculpture in front of the CIA building. Like the CIA sculpture, this Rolls-Royce limited run of 50 cars is called Kryptos, as in the Rolls-Royce Wraith Kryptos Collection.
For the most part, the cars are normal Wraiths, which I think most people would categorise as Rolls-Royce’s somewhat uprated version of a Scion tC, but with suicide doors.
The difference on this series of 50 Krypto Collection Wraiths, though, is in the details, which appear at first to be just a vaguely tech-inspired aesthetic theme, but actually contain:
“… an encrypted cipher that evolves throughout the car for the clients’ pleasure and amusement, leading them on a journey of discovery and intrigue. To the uninitiated, these ciphers appear, on the surface at least, to be an alluring design purely for aesthetic purposes and devoid of any discernible pattern. However, for those that look closer, those few who hold the key, they will embark on an experience that leads to an enlightening conclusion.”
So, a big puzzle of some sort.
The Bespoke Designer, Katrin Lehmann, describes the inspiration as
“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. Finding the key becomes integral to appreciating the full meaning of an item that can otherwise be viewed simply as a work of art.”
She also claims that humans have been using cryptography since the “dawn of time,” as she walks us through the car in this video that’s only a little bit silly, mostly because of the whispered, echoed repetition of certain words like “shadows”:
OK, it’s all pretty silly and cloyingly elitist, but, whatever, it’s kind of fun, too. I guess if you’re super-rich and can find the Easter Egg hidden in the Atari 2600 Adventure cartridge in your sleep, this is a logical next step.
The fundamental form of the cryptogram can be seen on the base of the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament, where the Flying Lady’s base-orb is ringed with a Morse-code-like series of dashes and dots, some untinted, some coloured in “Kryptos Green.”
The closest thing to a clue to get one started on decoding their car appears to be on the headrests, on which
“…elements of the cipher are embroidered into Wraith’s headrests, where the customary ‘double-R’ emblem can so often be found.”
That would suggest that these markings equate to “RR”:
In Morse, “R” is “•–•” and this doesn’t seem to be that, which isn’t surprising, as that would be way too easy. What’s a bit confusing is that if it’s to be read as “:=” then the blue one is reversed from the grey, which is “=:” and it seems like they’re both supposed to be R’s.
They seem to overlap a bit, like Rolls-Royce’s actual logo Rs do, though I’m not sure if that’s significant.
Anyway, that seems to be a starting point, at least.
The circuit-tracing-inspired headliner supposedly hides big crypto data in there, and is animated as well (depicting an “in-motion data-stream,” according to RR) which I’m sure looks nice and engaging and fun, a perfect way to impress all your friends who may be feeling down after making zero progress trying to break the mysterious Cicada 3301 cryptographic challenge.
Supposedly, only two people at Rolls-Royce know the solution, the designer and the Chief Executive, and if you think you’ve figured it out, you can submit your efforts only through the invite-only Rolls-Royce phone app, called, irritatingly, Whispers.
I was unable to even crack this code.
I’m guessing the 50 rich people who buy these may likely hire actual cryptographers to help them solve their car-puzzle, so I suggest all of you take some time to try figuring it out and make your progress known here in the comments, in hopes of luring some moneybags to pay you for your efforts.
So, get cracking! Decode those dots and dashes and whatevers!