Volkswagen is marking the 45th anniversary of its Golf GTI hot hatch with a new special-edition model – the Edition 45.

The German manufacturer launches a new version to mark the birthday every five years, with the Clubsport 45 being the latest.

Launched in 1976, Volkswagen originally planned to sell around 5,000 versions of the sporty hot hatch. Yet, eight generations later, more than 2.3 million versions have been produced.

This new model is based on the Clubsport – already the ‘purest’ of the Golf GTIs. Featuring a 296bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine, it gets a 54bhp boost compared to the regular GTi, as well as sportier styling, dedicated driving modes and a front-axle differential lock that aims to make it handle even better.

This anniversary model is signalled out by its ‘Race’ pack, which brings 19-inch alloy wheels, additional red detailing and a sports exhaust system. The speed limiter is also removed, while it gains a host of ‘45’ cues inside and outside to separate it from the standard car. The cabin also benefits from sports seats and a new sports steering wheel as well.

Just 5,000 Clubsport 45 models are set to be produced, with UK pricing still to be announced. Expect it to cost close to £40,000 when it arrives in showrooms later this spring.