Volkswagen will unveil its new Passat BlueMotion at the Geneva Motor Show in March, with sales of the clean-diesel to start in the second half of this year. BlueMotion is the label VW gives to the most fuel-efficient vehicle it offers in a model segment. Its Polo BlueMotion burns just 3.9L of fuel per 100km and emits only 103g of CO2/km, one gram less than Toyota's hybrid Prius. The Passat version will come with a 1.9L TDI motor developing 105hp that’s said to achieve best-in-class mileage rates.

VW will eventually add BlueMotion versions to all of its volume-selling car lines including the Golf and Touran models. The Passat and Polo BlueMotion vehicles will initially be sold in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, with sales for the rest of Europe expected to start early next year.

It's interesting to see the different approaches regional carmakers have to the fuel efficiency problem. Most Asian companies are moving forward with hybrid development, while European carmakers are more likely to use small diesel engines. Diesels already achieve better mileage rates than their more expensive electric-hybrid counterparts, which is the main reason the Europeans are sticking with the oil-burners, a philosophy we’re definitely fans of.