Puzzling new luxury car revealed
A luxury car brand has introduced a puzzling new limited edition version of one of its lusted after vehicles.
Famed carmaker Rolls-Royce, who many would consider to be at the pinnacle of luxury motoring (in competition with the likes of Bentley and Maybach, all three of which are owned by German companies BMW, Volkswagen and Mercedes respectively), has announced the Kryptos Collection of its Wraith coupe.
The Wraith has been sold since 2013 and starts at $645,000, around the same price as an inner-Sydney apartment, but arguably roomier.
It's a full-size, pillarless grand tourer featuring "suicide doors" and powered by a 6.5 litre BMW V12.
The car is widely referenced in rap music for its status as one of the most expensive vehicles you can buy, and for its 1340-strong collection of fibre optic lights in the headliner that create a field of "stars" in the ceiling of the car.
But Rolls-Royce has announced a new limited collection seemingly designed to appeal to cryptocurrency millionaires or diehard fans of the Matrix film franchise.
Rather than the usual starry headliner, the Krptos Wraith features one inspired by computer circuits, and is animated to simulate an "in-motion data stream".
This is part of a larger puzzle in each car.
"Hidden in plain sight on each Wraith Kryptos is a coded message, denoted by ciphers developed in absolute secrecy," Rolls-Royce said on its website.
The key to the code is reportedly tucked away in the office safe of Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös, but clues are hidden all over the car.
There's the iconic Rolls-Royce hood ornament which contains what appears to be a message in morse code at its base.
There are also flecks of blue-green paint that only become visible in sunlight as well as glow in the dark stitching on the interior.
"Each stitch conceals a secret," Rolls-Royce teased.
Owners who think they have cracked the puzzle can suggest an answer through the invite-only Rolls-Royce Whispers app.
Some have theorised owners may take the same approach to cracking the code as they do to driving their cars - by hiring someone else to do it for them.
According to designer and amateur cryptologist Katrin Lehmann, the cryptic clues in the car only add to its strength as a status symbol.
"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," she said in a statement announcing the collection.
"It's a game with many layers," Ms Lehmann said.
"Finding the key becomes integral to appreciating the full meaning of an item that can otherwise be viewed simply as a work of art."
Ms Lehmann added that the Kryptos name comes from Ancient Greek, referring to something hidden, unseen or coded.
Kryptos is also the name of a monument outside of the US CIA's headquarters, which supposedly contains hidden messages that remain unsolved.
Originally published as Puzzling new luxury car revealed