Volkswagen revs up a new sales engine: Your iPhone

The road to your next car runs right through the nearest iPhone--at least Volkswagen is banking that it does.

On Wednesday Volkswagen launched its new 2010 GTI hatchback not via a television or radio commercial or an auto show floor presentation, but in Apple's App Store, thus becoming the first car company to announce a new car exclusively through a mobile device, according to the company.

Parking itself in the App Store today is Real Racing GTI, a racing game designed by Firemint which, not surprisingly, features the 2010 GTI. The game, which makes good use of the accelerometer built into the iPhone and iPod Touch, includes a showroom where users can explore the specifications of the new hatchback and custom design a virtual model.

"We're going to essentially take our message directly to the customer," said Tim Ellis, vice president of marketing for Volkswagen of America, Inc. Wednesday night at a New York press event directly across the street from the site where Microsoft unveiled Windows 7 on Thursday.

Volkswagen's decision to announce the car exclusively via the App Store is a tip of the cap to popularity of the online venue, where thousands of eyes peruse the offerings at any given moment. More than two billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store since it opened.

Game players can enter a sweepstakes for one of six limited edition Volkswagen GTI MkVI hatchbacks being given away over six weeks. The game also makes good use of social networking, allowing users to capture their races and upload the video to YouTube and to send messages to other players via Twitter.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphoneAppleiphone app storeiPhoneapp storeiphone apps

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert S. Anthony

PC World (US online)

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?