It is the sixth such anniversary model the GTI has received in its lifetime, with Volkswagen having offered a similar conceived limited edition every five years since the Edition 20 in 1996.
Due on sale in the UK in April priced from slightly less than £40,000, the limited-run GTI Clubsport 45 is marked out with bespoke '45' branding, a contrasting black roof and matching rear wing - which, Volkswagen says, is a homage to the Mk1 GTI's black plastic rear spoiler.
Bespoke 19in 'Scottsdale' alloy wheels are painted black, with a narrow red pinstripe around the rim in tribute to historic GTI models, which wore a similar design for their front grilles.
Being a Clubsport, the special edition boosts output from its 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder to 296bhp and 295lb ft - from the standard GTI's 242bhp and 273lb ft - for a 0-62mph time of 5.6sec.
It is also equipped as standard with an exclusive Race package, which is unavailable on other GTI models, bringing an Akrapovic sports exhaust system and removing the 155mph maximum speed limiter, while adding top-rung LED matrix headlights, which also feature subtle red detailing.
The commemorative theme is carried over to the interior, where a GTI motif is stitched into the front seat backrests and a 45 badge is applied to the bottom of the steering wheel.