A snazzy stylish car does not always beget an equally stylish car key remote or key fob but every once in a while the remote or fob is quite impressive, perhaps more so than the car. We list down 5 that is as stylish as the cars themselves.
Car keys used to be nothing more than a metal piece with jagged edges, gripped by a plastic/rubber holder at one end, and not much else. As their purpose is so simple and finite – they largely remain unchanged for the first 70 years of car manufacturing. It wasn’t until car theft became more rampant across the world that ‘car keys’ became smarter – they gained remote locking, more intricate key designs and later coded infrared chips for better security.
In the last decade or so, the car key, key fob as its commonly referred to has become a stylish and mobile communication device that can receive and relay information to the vehicle itself. In certain cases, keys can even tell you and how much fuel you have and remotely start your car to cool it down before you enter.
Besides greater technology – the key fobs themselves have gotten more stylish, almost becoming an accessory to the car itself. The materials and designs are far more detailed now, almost as if to offer a stylish introduction to the ownership experience itself. The following 5 car key remotes or key fobs show just how stylish and high-tech they have become.
Volvo’s stylish retake of the key fob was first introduced with the Volvo XC90. The new key moved all functional buttons to the side revealing a simple and understated surface (in the centre) that features the Volvo badge. Depending on model and variants, this central section can be trimmed in a variety of materials including plastic, leather and wood to highlight the interior features of the vehicle itself. In 2019 Volvo introduced the Care Key (far right), a secondary key that allows the maximum vehicle speed to be preset within the key, in the case that a family member or young driver is allowed to drive the car.
Image credit (right): FB @ Junaidi.Es
One of the features that have got a lot of attention with the upcoming 2022 Honda Civic is the slim and stylish Honda Smart Key Card, made available in the Civic RS variant. As we understand a more conventional key (left image, which features the familiar lock/unlock, remote start and walk-away auto lock) is offered in other variants of the new car, but the RS version will receive the “access card” looking Smart Key card which does not have any physical buttons but allows for keyless entry and starting the vehicle. The slim key card also hides a physical key that can be used to access the vehicle in case the Smart Key malfunctions. Thought, it is unclear if the Smart Key card offers the remote start function offered on the conventional key fob.
Image credit: autoworld.com.my
As cool as the Honda Smart Key card looks, it wasn’t the first. Renault’s slim KeyCard was introduced quite a few years before and features many of their models ranging from the Megane, Clio and Captur. Earlier versions were rather plasticky – featuring just a drab black cover with small physical buttons for locking/unlocking and the trunk release functions. Renault did, however, up the ante with the KeyCard offered in the Koleos, which is still a tad bit plasticky, but finished in the same colour as the vehicle with chrome edges at the sides for a more premium look and feel. Like the Honda version, the Renault KeyCard also integrates a physical key that can be pulled out from the card in case of remote malfunction.
Despite being more conventional, there is something so stylish and traditional about Porsche’s vehicle key. It doesn’t even offer as many functions as the rest of the keys in this list (physical buttons are limited to just locking/unlocking the vehicle) however its simplistic design and compact proportions perfectly mimic the unmistakable silhouette of a Porsche vehicle. At the bottom region of the key lies the embossed company logo, and each key can be specified and painted (on its side faces) in the colour of the vehicle… for a small extra charge of course.
We’ve covered cool and stylish but the BMW Display Key takes the cake as the most techno-laden key of the lot. The Display Key is a remote control and touchscreen display in one, owners can use it to access the car, check vehicle fuel levels, and even set the cabin temperature before entering. More akin to a smartphone – perhaps the coolest function of the Display Key is its remote parking function (depending on model) that allows the driver to conveniently get out of the vehicle before parking it via remote control by moving it forward into, or reversing out of, a tight parking space or garage. The Display Key is offered on most of BMW’s premium executive models such as the 5- and 7 Series and X5 models.