Design & Technology

The key to your ride – check out our cool car keys! January 17th, 2017

 

Along with vehicle research and development, automakers have been perfecting the technology of car keys for decades. Once regarded as simple tools that allowed access to your road companions, car keys have come a long way in becoming the sophisticated and clever devices they are today.

 

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From good old-fashioned metal keys to modern day smart keys,
Kia has made various modifications to key designs over the years.

 

Over the years, Kia has developed innovative car keys that simultaneous serve as distinctive brand statements. Take a look at some of Kia’s most unique and stand-out keys!

 

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Smart key released with the 2004 Kia Opirus (Amanti)

 

Like many automakers, Kia’s car keys started off as simple, metal types that simply served to lock and unlock car doors. In 2004, Kia became the first Korean automobile manufacturer to apply the smart key concept to its vehicles, namely the premium flagship model Opirus (also widely known as Amanti). Since this transition, smart keys have become an indicator of luxury and sophistication and are evolving to incorporate more functional features and innovative design.

 

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In 2011, Kia released a newly designed key to accompany two popular models, the Kia Picanto and Rio (called Morning and Pride in the Korean market, respectively). Taking inspiration from smooth and shapely pebbles, the small and rounded design served as much as an attractive accessory as a functional component for the car. While the key had no built-in buttons whatsoever, it fully served its function in unlocking and starting up the car.

 

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With the release of the Cadenza (known as the K7 in the Korean market) and the Quoris (also named K900 and K9 in various regional markets) in 2012, Kia made radical adjustments to vehicle keys for a touch of added luxury. The keys were revealed in the form of card keys and were thin enough to be carried in the wallets of drivers. Also unaccompanied by any buttons, the card mechanism boasted a simplistic and clean design that allowed keyless entry and easy start of the ignition.

 

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The variations do not stop there. Kia celebrated the launch of the second generation Cerato in Korea (more commonly known as K3 in the market) by developing an entirely different – wearable – smart key. Available only to 1,500 customers as a limited edition product, the key took the form of a sleek and trendy watch. Providing both style and function, the watch allowed for extended control of the Cerato with features such as the familiar keyless unlock and ignition start function as well as the smart trunk system.

 

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Currently, most of these variations in key design are primarily featured in the Korean market and have yet to venture overseas. However with the progress being made in smart and connectivity technologies, there is no saying that these key options will remain limited forever. Take a look at the different types of keys above and let us know which one is your favorite!