• Volvo’s "Red Key" Is The Swiss Army Knife Of Car Keys

The do-everything key will help ease your anxiety

Volvo’s reputation as an automaker that prides itself on the safety of its vehicles has come in a number of shapes and forms over the years. Today, it comes in the form of a red key, or “Red Key” as Volvo has named it. The concept itself is not unlike what Dodge did when it offered a special red key fob for the Charger and Challenger Hellcats. The only difference is the function, and that’s where Volvo’s own Red Key makes good use of itself.

The key itself serves a variety of functions, most of which are geared towards ensuring owners that their cars are taken cared of when they’re not driving it. For instance, the Red Key limits the speed of the car to just 75 miles per hour – the complete opposite of Dodge’s red key fob that unlocks the Hellcat’s 707-horsepower output – and comes with a suite of programs that are activated when it’s being used, including the Adaptive Cruise Control system that automatically calculates and maintains an appropriate distance from the car in front of it. It also unlocks other tech features like the Blind Spot Information System, Lane Keeping Aid, Forward Collision Warning, Driver Alert Control, Distance Alert, and Traffic Sign Recognition. Oh, and it’s also capable of dropping the volume of the audio system, for whatever that’s worth. That’s a lot of functions for one well-dressed key.

David Baddeley, Operations Director for Volvo Car U.K., says that the Red Key is meant to make your Volvos safer. "Handing over your car to a third party often comes with a feeling of trepidation,” he said. "For those who regularly entrust their car to others, Volvo’s Red Key gives owners the confidence that their vehicle is being driven responsibly, no matter whose hands it’s in."

Considering all the safety and tech features that go live when the Red Key is being used, it’s hard to argue against that sentiment. That’s a promising proposition and even better, the key itself costs just £110, which converts to just under $140 based on current exchange rates. The only downside to the Red Key, at least for now, is that it’s only available for the S90, V90, and XC90 models with more models are expected to get the key at some point down the road.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Safety comes in a stylish red key

If anybody told me that a car key would one day equate to increased safety for your vehicle, I probably would’ve stared at you in a fixed daze. What? A key? Really?

Well, sometimes the reality is stranger than fiction because that time has come. Volvo’s Red Key is a real thing and based on the reputation of the automaker that built and developed it, I don’t see any reason to brush aside the capabilities of this key. Volvo laid out all of its features and capabilities and while very little of them are of the sexy and eye-popping variety, the purpose of it was made abundantly clear. It’s supposed to make the cars feel safer because it contains all these safety and tech features that are only activated when the key itself is being used.

Imagine the anxiety that comes with leaving your keys in the valet. Volvo’s Red Key should quell those concerns and then some. Granted, the product hasn’t been subjected to extensive use yet, so there’s no telling if Volvo’s claims of its capabilities are on point. But it is important to note that the key is more than just a concept now; it’s a real thing that has its own price tag.

That in itself makes it worth a good and serious look, especially for owners of the Volvo S90, V90, and XC90 models, who are otherwise uncomfortable about the safety of their cars when they don’t have the keys to them. Even better, the Red Key is already available now so if you know anyone who owns any of the three aforementioned models, this key actually makes for a pretty impressive holiday present.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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