Volkswagen is no stranger to promoting its vehicles using games for the iPhone and iPhone Touch. Witness such forgetables as Volkswagen Polo Challenge 3D [iTunes link] and Volkswagen Scirocco R 24H Challenge 3D [iTunes link], both by developer FISHLABS. Neither game is very fun to play, being on the early end of the curve for racing games on Apple's smart phone. For the launch of the new GTI, however, Volkswagen got smart and instead partnered with developer Firemint, which already has a well received racing game for sale in the App Store called Real Racing [iTunes link]. Together, the two companies have put out Real Racing GTI [iTunes link], a free version of the $6.99 app that exclusively features the new 2010 Volkswagen GTI.
We'll get to the game in a second, but the big news is that VW is putting some promotional muscle behind the app by launching a contest (view rules and regulations here) to give away six brand new, limited edition GTIs just for playing the game. Thankfully, your chances of winning are not tied to your skill level, and entering involves simply registering through the game and completing a race. What's more, you can enter once per day and Volkswagen will pick a winner each week for the next six. The GTI prize cars are limited edition models with numbered dash plaques, special interior and exterior trim and unique 18-inch black wheels.
As for the game, it's pretty solid. While only featuring the GTI and fewer tracks, all the gameplay mechanics are the same as the paid app. The control settings are also extensive allowing you to steer using either the device's accelerometer or a steering wheel on the screen, as well as choosing between auto or manual modes for accelerating and braking. The competition AI, however, is pretty weak, allowing you to pass them all from the back of the grid before the first turn and then hanging on the back of your bumper for the rest of the race.
So here's our advice: DO NOT download Real Racing GTI and DO NOT register for the contest to win one of six limited edition GTIs. We think we have a real shot at winning and don't want you all throwing the curve.