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Volvo proves that not all red keys are created equal

Whereas a certain feline-themed domestic uses the red key to unleash its full potential, Volvo's red key takes that leash and tightens it right up.

2016 Volvo XC90
No matter what trim level you opt for, you still get those gorgeous "Thor's Hammer" headlights.

When you buy a Dodge Hellcat, you get two keys -- black and red. Black limits power to 500, to prevent valets or fleet-footed children from getting into too much trouble. If you want 707 horsepower, you'll need the red key. As it turns out, Volvo has red and black keys, as well, but they serve radically different purposes.

The always-great Andrew Collins from Jalopnik brought our attention to Volvo's red key by way of the brand's accessories site. Whereas the Hellcat's red key opens its potential, Volvo's red key seals it away under the auspices of safer driving.

The key is preset to limit several different systems. Top speed is maxed out at 75 mph, adaptive cruise control is limited to its longest following distance, speed warnings are set at several different speeds, the audio volume is limited and every safety system is permanently enabled. You can tweak the settings using the black key, too.

It appears the key is only limited to the XC90 crossover, but as new models like the S90 and V90 come to market, it's likely it'll extend to them, too. Volvo claims its red key can be useful beyond keeping kids safe -- it'll also check the privilege of valets, mechanics and anyone else that might have unfettered access to the vehicle for a period of time.

Who else but Volvo could take an already-established symbol for badassery and flip it around to be about safety?

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