Volkswagen knows something other car manufacturers don't: they needn't spend millions of dollars on commercials, billboards, and product placement to launch a new car. They just need to make an iPhone application, like Volkswagen has for their latest model, the 2010 GTI, and the money will follow. OK, so the commercials and stuff will probably come later, but for now, the VW GTI is taking off through a free version of Real Racing, called Real Racing GTI [App Store link], available as of today.
Real Racing GTI is a pared-down version of Firemint's Real Racing that Firemint itself has altered: the GTI version of the game has only GTIs to drive and fewer available tracks, but the game mechanics remain the same. There is a heavy social media aspect to the game with the integration of Cloudcell profiles (the same ones used for other regular versions of Firemint games) that allow you to trumpet your GTI-racing abilities on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. All I've been able to glean from the game so far is that GTIs are fast, but will cause you to run into walls a lot, and other GTI drivers are jerks who will ram into you if you try to pass them. No, I'm not just a bad driver. OK, maybe I am, a little.
Along with the launch of the app, Volkswagen is giving away 6 "ultra-special edition" 2010 GTIs, which have special embroidery and carbon fiber accents on the doors and interior, every week for the next 6 weeks. Winning the giveaway has nothing to do with being good at Real Racing (phew!). You can enter via the "Winner's Circle" section on the app, or on Volkswagen's website here. Happy driving!