The new 2011 Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion is one of the most fuel efficient cars in the world, despite its large, family-size proportions.

The new Passat BlueMotion sedan will consume just 4.1 litres/100km on the European combined cycle, while the wagon will use 4.3 litres/100km. Average CO2 emissions are 109g/km and 113g/km respectively.

The BlueMotion model is powered by the 1.6-litre TDI diesel engine currently found in the 77TDI Golf and Jetta variants. It produces 77kW of power and 250Nm of torque, and incorporates stop-start engine technology.

The Passat BlueMotion also features a lowered ride height and better aerodynamics to further improve efficiency.

The most frugal model currently offered in Volkswagen Australia’s Passat range is the 125TDI Highline model, which produces 125kW, 350Nm and uses 5.7 litres/100km on the combined cycle.

Volkswagen Australia launched the updated 2011 Passat range in Australia last month. The BlueMotion variant has not yet been confirmed for Australia, and if it is in the VW Australia’s plans, it will not arrive locally for at least 12 months.

Its Australian launch could be influenced by the success of the 2011 Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion, which will be launched in Australia next week.

The Golf BlueMotion is powered by the same 77kW/250Nm 1.6-litre TDI engine and is expected to use just 3.8 litres/100km on the combined cycle – making it the second-most fuel efficient car in the country behind the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic.