Luxury LIfestyle

This 34-carat diamond-encrusted $554,000 key fob could be yours

A Finland-based company is now selling high-end custom key fobs.

Photo courtesy of Awain

For when the common key fob just isn't enough, there's the Awain car key. Described by the brand as "The most exclusive car key," Alain's key fobs offer everything from a brushed titanium and anodized blue silver car key to a fob encrusted with 34.5 carats in trillion and round cut diamond.

"When I was a motor journalist, I noticed that most luxury and supercar keys were fairly non- descript and made of plastic," said Jalmari Mattila, CEO, Awain. "They didn't have the same craftsmanship or finesse as the cars they powered, which seemed like such a shame. So, with that in mind, I enlisted the help of designer Leevi Markkula and watchmaker Joakim Jokela to help me create a really beautifully crafted, bespoke and incredibly luxurious key. After two years of honing and perfecting the technical and aesthetic design, Awain and our exclusive line of keys were born."

Awain key fob customSome models have leather and metal accents while others feature diamonds.Photo courtesy of Awain

The company offers two collections of fobs with three car keys to choose from within each collection. Grand Prix Collection models are lower end models that are named after historic race circuits: Monaco, Spa, and Suzuka. Those three models are available in eight different leather and stitching colors. The design of the keys in this collection are more understated than the others that Awain offers.

Quantum, Serenity, and Phantom models are higher-end and feature diamond designs. The Quantum model has just 345 diamonds totaling 3.6 carats in diamond while the top Phantom fob has 34.5. Serenity models have 1,250 diamonds. Buyers are offered their choice of five inner colors for their fob and Quantum buyers have three metals to choose from as well.

Awain key fob diamonds PhantomThe Phantom model is a hand-customized creation that has its price tag top $500,000.Photo courtesy of Awain

The Finland-based company touts the fobs as a, "functional work of art" and describes its production process as "badass craftsmanship." Grand Prix Collection keys take the company's Nordic craftsmen upwards of 20 hours to create by hand. The more expensive Prestige Collection models take upwards of 100 hours.

Prices for the pieces range from around $11,000 to upwards of $554,000 per key.

As if the price isn't limiting enough, the brand messaging on Awain's website describes the fobs as for, "an exclusive group of true global elites." If you have to ask if you qualify, you probably don't.

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Some owners have discovered that their car's video games work when the car is moving.

Tesla

Tesla's vehicles are among the most advanced and forward-thinking products of any kind, but serious innovation doesn't come with tradeoffs. The automaker has been in the news recently because of issues with how its advanced cruise control systems function, and now, Autoblog reports that the NHTSA is asking questions about Tesla giving drivers the ability to play video games and browse the internet while driving.

Tesla Arcade hands-on: the Model 3 is your video game consoleyoutu.be

The feature is intended to be used while the car is parked, such as while charging, so the discovery that people can use them while driving is a serious one. Vince Patton, the person who filed the complaint with the NHTSA, tested his car and found that he could play Solitaire and a fairly involved action game while it was in motion. Internet browsing was also possible, meaning the driver could take their attention completely off the road ahead for extended periods of time.

Tesla Model 3Tesla's screens offer advanced functions that many others do not. Tesla

Tesla was already under investigation over crashes involving its Autopilot feature. Several collisions have occurred between Teslas and emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road. Following the initiation of that investigation, the NHTSA raised other questions with the automaker over a buggy software update that was pushed out, retracted, fixed, and reissued outside of the normal recall process. Despite their names, it's important to clarify that neither the Autopilot nor Full Self-Driving features are capable of driving the cars without driver awareness and input.

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Updated premium crossover

2022 Infiniti QX50 picks up new standard features

The new QX50 gets more tech and safety features.

Infiniti

Infiniti is one of a handful of automakers that have continued developing and building cars instead of focusing only on higher-profit and much more popular SUVs and trucks. That said, Infiniti's catalog is crossover- and SUV-heavy. Its smallest and least expensive crossover, the QX50 gets a handful of new features for 2022, and today Infiniti announced pricing.

Infiniti offers the 2022 QX50 in five trims: $40,025 Pure, $43,375 Luxe, $47,825 Essential, $52,525 Sensory, and $57,975 Autograph. All trims get Infiniti's variable compression (VC-Turbo) engine that makes 268 horsepower and returns up to 26 mpg combined. The advanced engine shifts its compression ratio to match the driver's behavior. When more power is needed, the compression changes, and when efficiency is the priority, it changes again. It's a marvel of engineering, but it's not as fuel-efficient as a hybrid. Power reaches the front or all four wheels through a continuously variable transmission.

2022 Infiniti QX50Pricing starts at around $40,000.Infiniti

Beyond the new standard features for 2022, buyers of the new QX50 will have to step up to the Luxe trim to get the most desirable features such as auto-folding exterior side mirrors, power lumbar support, and perforated leather upholstery. Standard comfort gear includes eight-way power front seats, dual-zone climate controls, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Infiniti stuck with its dual-screen infotainment configuration with the 2022 QX50. The top eight-inch screen handles wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto duties, as well as navigation. The bottom seven-inch screen handles vehicle controls, radio stations, and other settings. Though the system looks great and adds a high-tech feel to the cabin, two screens can be distracting and confusing while driving. The good news is that the QX50 gets an excellent 16-speaker Bose stereo starting with the Luxe trim.

2022 Infiniti QX50ProPilot Assist and Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are now standardInfiniti

The 2022 QX50 hasn't been crash tested by either major ratings organization yet, but the 2021 model performed well. It earned Good ratings in crash testes and a Superior score for its standard crash prevention systems. The 2022 QX50 comes standard with Infiniti's ProPilot Assist system, which brings advanced adaptive cruise control functions that can center the car in its lane, brake, and accelerate. Other standard tech includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, rear automatic braking, predictive forward collision warnings, and forward automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.


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