Returning World Rally legend Sebastien Loeb heads up a comprehensive entry list for the 2015 season-opening Rallye Monte Carlo, with 18 WRC cars registered to compete across four manufacturers.

The Frenchman, who called time on his WRC participation in 2013 having notched up a record-breaking nine consecutive titles, made the surprise announcement last month that he would return for a one-off outing with Citroen as part of its strategy to promote the DS brand.

His first outing in WRC since the Rallye de France Alsace in 2013, Loeb - who has switched to the WTCC full-time with the French manufacturer - will team up with Kris Meeke in the Citroen Total Abu Dhabi DS3s, with Mads Ostberg driving a third car for the squad.

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Loeb's return will see him go up against the series' current dominant figure, Sebastien Ogier, who will look to kick off his quest for a third consecutive WRC title with VW once more, alongside Jari-Matti Latvala and Andrea Mikkelsen.

In addition to the factory cars, Citroen will also have WRC3 champion Sebastien Chardonnet driving a DS3 as a reward for his efforts in the junior categories, while Yuri Protasov moves to the French firm after driving a Ford Fiesta in 2014.

Ford, meanwhile, will have several representatives, with the M-Sport WRT outfit running Fiestas for Elfyn Evans and series returnee Ott Tanak, while Bryan Bouffier - who finished second in last year's Monte Carlo Rally - also returns. In addition, Robert Kubica, Henning Solberg, Martin Prokop and Lorenzo Bertelli will enter privateer machines.

Hyundai - the only manufacturer to prevent VW from taking a clean sweep of wins in 2014 - will enter two i20 WRCs for Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo.

The 2015 Rallye Monte Carlo gets underway on Thursday 22nd January.