A key fob is a little bit of a statement piece. There is something about the heft and weight of a key, often from a European car, that just feels satisfying to the touch. Of course, one would presume that a posh-looking key is often tied to an expensive car. Most times, you’d be right. But looks are only a part of it, the key has to be well made with proper materials (a little leather wouldn't hurt) and withstand a little bit of abuse on the daily grind.
We’ve probably had our share of cheap plasticky feeling keys with rubbery surfaces or textures. At the heart of it, everyone wants something nice we can put on our dresser or mantle after a long day, or something expensive-looking to place on the dinner table. Having said that, here are some of the coolest, and quirkiest car key fobs.
Look at it. Looks proper posh, innit? Aston calls this an Emotional Control Unit, which supposedly has something to do with the stirring of emotions when you slot this key into the dash and start the car up. But to most of us, it looks like a very nice hefty key, with a sapphire crystal on top for some added bling.
BMW Display Key
It looks like a smartphone, works like one, but believe it or not, this is a car key. Using the BMW Display key, you could pre-cool your car's air conditioning before you walk out to it in the morning, start the car up remotely, even shift the car into tight narrow spaces while standing outside the car (just like James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies). It also charges wirelessly too, so you could plop it onto your charging pad and let it juice up while you’re on the road. Function wise, it's probably the best of the lot here. And the techiest.
Granted, this isn’t any ordinary key fob. It’s not made to start the engine, it doesn’t unlock the doors, it doesn't even open the frunk (mid-engined, remember?). This is the Speed Key that unlocks the full potential of a Bugatti Veyron, allowing it to go into Top Speed mode. This is the key that allows the Veyron to soar to its 407km/h record top speed. You could think of it as the second key for an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Pagani is no stranger to creating masterful pieces of art. For example, the “Huayra” badge on the back of the gullwinged hypercar is made of a single piece of aluminium, a process that takes 24 hours of milling. We don’t know how long it takes Pagani’s craftsmen to craft this key, but we’re quite certain it’s not cobbled together overnight.
The key fob of the Kia Stinger evokes the best qualities of the car itself. It’s shaped like a detonator (old joke, I know), has enough metal and leather to take the fight to its continental competitors, and it feels rather good and weighty to the touch. Just like the rather excellent four-door saloon itself, this is a key that doesn’t exactly conform to any given norms, and that’s why we like it.