|Drivers:||Sébastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala|
Volkswagen made history in 2013 when it became the first manufacturer to win both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles in its debut WRC season. It dominated again in 2014, securing both titles with victory on every rally bar one, and completed a hat-trick, with a similar win ratio, in 2015.
The German–based team arrived in the WRC claiming modest expectations, but its exhaustive test programme and well-drilled rally preparations meant success was never far away.
When the team made its debut in Monte-Carlo, it had spent 17 months preparing for the competition. Its all-new Polo R world rally car had completed 100 days of pre season testing, while the team and its star driver Sébastien Ogier had carried out a season-long dress rehearsal running a Skoda S2000.
Ogier kicked things off with a fastest time on the opening stage in Monte-Carlo, before taking Volkswagen’s first victory a month later in Sweden. Seven wins later, he took the drivers’ title at Rallye de France. Winning the manufacturers’ title soon after was the icing on the cake.
In 2014 Volkswagen Motorsport returned with the same drivers; Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala in the main team, while Andreas Mikkelsen drove for the separately registered Volkswagen Motorsport II squad.
Between them, Ogier and Latvala steamrollered the competition, taking the Polo R to the top step of the podium on every round except, awkwardly, Volkswagen’s home round in Germany.
That glitch was ironed out in 2015 when Ogier and Latvala - now equipped with a second generation Polo R - dominated again, with second-team driver Mikkelsen adding a victory to Volkswagen’s season total of 12 wins from 13 rounds.
Volkswagen is again the team to beat in 2016, when Ogier and Latvala return for a fourth season of Polo power.