Car ownership often correlates directly with status. Those of us who admire our cars and feel a sense of emotional attachment can admit that we want everyone else to appreciate them too. There’s no greater status statement than the decal on the car and, of course, the key that unlocks it.
After dropping a lot of money into a vehicle, we’d expect the key to be appealing and representative of the brand. The key represents our ride, everywhere we go, and everywhere we chose to flash it, even if our car isn’t parked nearby.
We’ve found 15 innovative and super cool car keys that do justice to the car brands they represent. Some of them are so unique and creative in their design, that it leaves us fully engaged in anticipation of what fun features the car itself may possess.
Before you get too excited though, we’ve also found five car keys that are such epic fails that we are left feeling completely disappointed and disheartened. These ones were so bad that we have no interest in the actual cars they represent – we just REALLY don’t want them on our key chains.
Our cars reflect our personal choices, the keys that start them, should as well. Let’s see the keys that impress, and the keys that fail….
20 Impressive: Tesla Model S
This Tesla Model S Key Fob has a lot to live up to. It would be way too disappointing to spend close to six figures on a car and be handed keys that look juvenile in comparison to the vehicle.
Thankfully, they did a great job with this one! The ultra-sleek, super innovative design is enticing and leaves you wondering what other cool features the car could possess. The shape of the key itself mimics the car’s design, and when you push down on a specific part of the car on the key, that is the part of the actual car that is immediately activated. Chic in its design, and fun to use, this key definitely impresses.
19 Impressive: Aston Martin
The Aston Martin key is called the “Emotional Control Unit”, and boy is it ever! This creative design features a transparent top, which displays the logo and doubles as a functional button. The pure visual appeal continues when you realize that this scratch-resistant key is made of pure Sapphire. Yes, that’s what we said – Sapphire!
It’s not often that we roll around with Sapphire on our key chains, so this is a fun little add-on. Great key, awesome styling, and visible prestige make this key another one that we’d hang on to – and show off!
18 Impressive: BMW 7 Series LCD Key
Despite being one of the larger keys we’ve looked at, the chunky design of this key really does align with the vehicle it represents. The 7 series BMW is a larger luxury vehicle and deserves this significant and slightly oversized key. The best part of this key, by far, is its unique and very handy integrated features. It doesn’t just control the car, it’s synchronized with it!
Among other fun tricks, this key can actually indicate your vehicle’s fuel levels. Yes, that’s right – you’re walking around with a gas gauge indicator, and whether you find that useful or not, we happen to think it’s a pretty impressive feature!
17 Impressive: Nissan 300 ZX
The key that unlocks the Nissan 300 ZX is certainly not as flashy as the others we’ve taken a look at, but either is the car itself. That is part of the appeal on this one. The key design remained brand-loyal and aligned with the expectations you’d have for this vehicle. It is subtle yet unique, and the simplicity of the key design is created in a sleek enough way that it taunts you to want to see what the car is all about.
Clean, simple lines with a brushed chrome finished, this key says “I’ve arrived,” and leaves you wanting to learn more about the vehicle that is about to take you on your next journey.
16 Impressive: Koenigsegg Shield
Do we need words for this one? The image should do it. This key is truly something else. This doesn’t look like a key at all, and there is nothing ordinary about it, or about the car that it unlocks. The chrome shield design is aggressive and intriguing, much like the vehicles it unlocks.
Designed to control the likes of the Agera, this key design keeps pace and shatters expectations. It’s a stunner - and if you ever care to see past the design, we should also mention there’s a small button that activates an alarm, doors unlock. Who are we kidding, this is so cool we don’t really care what it does.
15 Impressive: 2014 Jaeger Le Couture Aston
This is insane. Not only is this a fashionable, bold, and fully functional watch, but it doubles as the controller of your vehicle too. Why carry a key if you can just wear one on your wrist instead? This watch-key pairs with your vehicle’s communication system and is as intuitive as it is responsive.
You can activate the locking features of your vehicle by simply pushing on the surface of the watch face itself. This unit pioneered the watch-controlled key, which is now being widely duplicated by numerous brands. This one is a no–brainer as a definite must-have.
14 Impressive: Pagani Zonda Key
If you’re purchasing a multi-million dollar car, you’d expect to be holding a key that speaks to that level of prestige and class. This imaginative design was inspired by the gas pedal of the Pagani and designed to mimic it. Holding this key really makes you want to put your pedal to the metal and explore this car.
It’s subtle in its design, but anyone who is familiar with the Pagani is going to experience instant brand-recognition when they see it. We like that this key’s design is not over-the-top. Car enthusiasts with a flair for design will certainly appreciate this one.
13 Impressive: Bugatti Speed Key
This key is not only thrilling because of the way it looks, but because it’s so enticing in its capabilities. Such a rare, innovation like this will never go unnoticed and is sure to always be appreciated. The ultimate in key fun, this little toy is inserted behind the driver’s seat and uncovers the most incredible assortment of fun features. When you have this key, you are able to unleash an endless amount of power, both from your vehicle and from its features.
You can deploy your spoiler, lower your chassis, and enhance your speed. Such exclusivity, in the palm of your hands – there’s no denying the power this holds, or the power you’ll feel when you are holding it.
12 Impressive: McLaren Key
When you own a McLaren, you really have no other statement to make. Your key should follow the same philosophy. Without needing to prove too much, you’d expect this key to be a simple design without too many frills and distractions. The car speaks for itself, the key is a teaser, and they perfectly hit the mark with this one.
All that's needed are the three simple buttons on a clean carbon fiber design. Synonymous with racing, carbon fiber was a clever choice for this key, and it just makes us want to drive this car. Simple yet making a clear statement, this key defines the car it unlocks.
11 Impressive: Jaguar F-Pace Activity Key
This is a really interesting non-key that functions as a key! There’s so much that this little product can do to enhance your car ownership experience. It’s visionary and its unique features make it a lot of fun to use. You’ll want to experience this at least once, just to say you have.
This impressive unit is waterproof and intuitive. All you have to do is hold your wrist to the trunk and it will unlock! Convenience is key to all of us! It’s just a few hundred dollars to add on as an option, and you’ll definitely not want to go without it.
10 Impressive: Awain Key
This is not only innovative and fully aligned with the brand it represents, but it also will make your jaw drop in awe. Most of us can’t imagine 34.5 carats of diamonds as personal jewelry, let alone as jewelry for our keys! This equates to 175 grams of “ ice” on your key, which you may very well need to just cool yourself down!
The center sections of this key can be customized to suit your personal wood or leather style preference, just as an added little bonus. The value of this “key” is roughly $536,000, which is more expensive than most supercars! If you’ve got it, you may as well flaunt it! This key unlocks dreams we haven’t even had yet!
9 Impressive: Smartphone Apps
Yes, that’s right. Sometimes the key to your car can be conveniently found within your Smartphone. We’ve all heard the term “Phone, Keys, Wallet”, and we can now knock one of those right off the list. We tend to do everything else from our phones these days, why wouldn’t you just be able to start your car with one?
Luckily, now, you can. In fact, according to AutoBlog, BMW is looking to ditch keys altogether. Times are changing, and phones are a huge asset to convenience. We’re far more attached and protective of our phones than our keys, so at least this way “losing our keys” becomes a thing of the past!
8 Impressive: VW Flip Remote Key
This one is a throwback to the early 2000s, as this key stands out and remains an important part of history for car enthusiasts. VW fans will all reunite at the memory of using this flip remote key to attain “cool status” and boast their ride.
It was simple, trendy, efficient, and very well integrated with the VW brand and all it stands for. If you were cool enough to whip around in a GTI, Corrado, Jetta, or Passat, you were cool enough to flip that key casually, letting everyone know you had one. This key stands the test of time, perfectly capturing the era it embraced.
7 Impressive: VW PCP Key
Have you ever had a car key that features a high definition touch screen? No error there, that’s exactly what we said! This key is so uniquely shaped, that it draws everyone’s attention, every single time.
After you establish that it boasts the high-def screen, the fun continues as you are able to check your car’s statistics via satellite. This is a super-sleek key that fits perfectly into your hand, purse, or pocket, and can instantly update you on your vehicle’s settings and requirements. We see all hits, and no misses with this one.
6 Impressive: Pagani Huayra Flash Drive
Yes, that’s what we said. If you’re fortunate enough to own the Pagani, you also have a flash drive on your key chain – as if you needed the extra street cred! The flash drive is pretty incognito in its design, and it’s admittedly a fabulous feature to be able to store information or music and have it accessible at all times within your key.
Most people won’t know it’s a flash drive, as they’ll be staring at the sophisticated design of the exterior of this key. Either way, we like it. It’s definitely unique, and on par with the vehicle, it represents.
5 Wouldn't Touch: Chrysler Neon Glow-In-The-Dark Key
We aren’t sure you need any commentary here. This one falls short of selling itself before we can even get started. First of all, this key opens a Chrysler, so the fan club is already substantially lacking. Secondly, we’re talking about a glow-in-the-dark key here, folks. The only question that remains worth asking is…why?
Despite that this may come in handy if you drop your keys in your car and have to go searching for them between the seats; we see no other enticing functionality or purpose for this eye-sore. We’d actually prefer it didn’t glow, as we would not want to be noticed getting into any of the cars this key would open.
4 Wouldn't Touch: Formawerx Porsche 911 key
This saddens us. If you’ve invested in a Porsche 911, you should really get a great key that matches your driving experience along with all the prestige that comes along with the brand itself. This is a great car that deserves a much better key! The attempt here was to design a stylish key that has 6 holes as a shout-out to the flat-6 engine of the vehicle it powers up.
Sadly, it doesn’t boast the flat-6, it just “falls flat.” It was a great design that is unfortunately lost on too many people, and quickly loses its effect. It’s too unimpressive to associate with an impressive car. This one is a huge fail.
3 Wouldn't Touch: The Mini
We admit this is cute. It really is. This tiny little key nestles right into your hand and is a perfect “little” feature to a “little” car. However, it pretty much ends there. There’s no special functionality. Nothing much happens with these 3 buttons, aside from your standard lock, alarm, and trunk features. Clearly falling flat in the area of aesthetic innovation, we also have questions about the shape of this tiny key. Why a circle?
Nothing else on the mini is in a circular formation. There’s no connection here and let’s be honest, we’re going to lose this way too often. This key left us wanting more and just doesn’t keep up with the fun ride it represents.
2 Wouldn't Touch: Renault Key Card
That’s all it is, folks. This weirdly shaped, oversized, lackluster key is so boring and unimpressive that we don’t even care what car it leads us to. What were they thinking? This looks more like a garage opener than something that would gain us access to a vehicle.
This is lacking in branding as much as it is lacking in features, and is really awkward to hold and transport due to its weird shape and size. Without any defining features or brand association, this key says nothing to us at all. We’ve all seen television remotes that look better than this hunk of junk. It’s easy to pass on this one, we don’t even want to look at it.
1 Wouldn't Touch: Subaru STI JDM
Subaru rides can be fun, sporty, peppy cars, and they deserve to have keys that match. Sadly, this one just didn’t. While at times we’ve been enticed by the simplicity of some key designs, this one was just so mundane and unattractive that it left too much to be desired.
Sure, there’s some slick styling here, and we’re not suggesting there was no effort put into the creation of this key, but it is just not enticing in any way and could have used more help. It doesn’t really do anything as far as features, or as far as gaining our attention, either. Sorry Subaru, but you completely missed the mark on this one!
Sources: Business Insider, Motor1, Blog.Key.Me, AutoBlog.com