Volkswagen showcases new GTI in free Real Racing game

Before you drop 7 bucks on Firemint's megapopular Real Racing, take VW's 2010 GTI hatchback for a spin in this free lite version. It's short, but very, very sweet.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida

Test-drive six 2010 VW hatchbacks in Firemint's free Real Racing GTI.

Firemint's Real Racing is one of the top-rated and most popular racing games in the App Store, but at $6.99 it's also among the priciest.

Alas, there's no lite version you can test-drive before you buy, but Volkswagen just unveiled the next best thing: Real Racing GTI, a free, VW-oriented version of the game.

Specifically, you get all the same visually stunning championship-racing goodness, but with just three tracks and half a dozen 2010 GTI hatchbacks.

This slimmed-down Real Racing offers three game modes: Quick Race, Time Trial (which lets you post race replays on YouTube!), and career-oriented GTI Cup Championship. (The full game offers more cars, tracks, game modes, etc., including local multiplayer.)

As Jason Parker wrote in his review, near-perfect controls set this game apart from other iPhone racers: "The sensitive accelerometer steering in Real Racing somehow gets it just right. This is due, in no small part, to the autobraking feature that teaches you the best speed at which to enter turns."

Thanks to Real Racing GTI, now you can experience that for yourself. Interestingly, this isn't VW's first foray into branded iPhone apps: just last month the company partnered with Fish Labs for VW Scirocco 24H Challenge.

So, now that you've had a chance to test-drive it, how does Real Racing compare with other iPhone racers you've played? Are you more likely to buy the full game?