Volkswagen SA’s Golf 8 GTI launch gets South Africans’ hearts racing

Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI launch South Africa
Imag credit: The Platinum Club

Volkswagen South Africa launched the new Golf 8 GTI to mass fanfare during October – after already posting incredible sales figures of 125 units in September, its first month of sale.

The launch campaign, #GTI8OnTour, saw the brand touring the Golf GTIs across the country to host high-energy events in Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg.

#GTI9OnTour gaming app

#GTI8OnTour was launched as a gaming app that got fans racing the Golf 8 GTI through the virtual city streets of South Africa to get their name on a virtual leader board and claim a free ticket to the #GTI8OnTour live launch events.

“The #GTI8OnTour campaign was a very successful campaign that played on the competitive nature of GTI drivers and fans of hot hatches. We saw many fans compete each week to post the fastest time on the digital leader board and we rewarded the top individual every Monday,” says Steffen Knapp, Volkswagen South Africa Brand Director.

Image credit: The Platinum Club

Since launching on 10 September, around 23,000 South Africans downloaded the app across Apple and Android devices, with over 380,000 game plays recorded in just six weeks.

Social media was buzzing, and the online campaign reached 3.3 million people across the country with campaign influencers Courtnaé Paul, Deon Govender, DJ Lag, Donovan Goliath, Khutso Theledi and Yuzriq Meyer adding fuel to the fun.

Underground car meets

As live events return, thousands of eager fans turned out at the #GTI8OnTour underground “car meets” in parking lots and rooftops at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cornubia Mall in Durban and Fourways Mall in Joburg.

Fans were given the chance to experience life in the GTI lane, literally. The Goodyear GTI 100m Speed Dash was an exhilarating self-drive where drivers got to put their foot flat for a hair-raising sprint. The gymkhana experience had fans screaming with glee as Volkswagen professional drivers raced passengers between pillars and around sharp corners.

Image credit: The Platinum Club

Certainly, a unique and photo-worthy part of the events was the collaboration with VW Dub Fest to include Golf GTI owners from each city, who showcased their vehicles in the GTI Heritage Fleet, Custom Heritage Fleet car displays and car crews added to the hype and vibe.

The Heritage Fleet proved to be a fan favourite with many taking pictures and videos of the impressive line-up of eight generations of the Golf GTI, which was fitting as the GTI brand celebrates 39 years in 2021. The fleet also included the GTI GTC (Global Touring Cars) race car, which was unveiled last year via a virtual launch.

Guests also got their hands on some of the latest Golf GTI merchandise at the pop-up VW Lifestyle Shop and a chance to immerse themselves in a virtual GTI world through the Virtual Reality station.

“The joy of seeing the significant digital uptake and reach combined with so many people attending the live events has been incredible. We anticipate increased sales in the coming months as #GTI8OnTour showed that the GTI brand remains a firm favourite amongst South Africans,” concluded Knapp.

For more information on the Golf 8 GTI, please visit

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