Like the new Golf 6, the 2011 Passat, while based on the current Passat's B6 platform, has been extensively remodelled. But for the roof, which carries over virtually unchanged, every panel of the updated Passat is brand-new.
While the width and height of the '11 Passat remain unchanged, but total length has been extended by 4mm in both sedan and wagon form.
To all intents and purposes, it looks like an all-new model.
Wearing Volkswagen's new family face and rear end, the Passat gets the now ubiquitous LED daytime running lights and a four-bar chrome grille for all variants.
The interior has also been overhauled, with a new instrument cluster and instrument switches and, for that touch of class, an analogue clock. There are also heated and cooled seats for top-shelf models and optional extras.
For Europe, the Passat's engine options will include a 78kW 1.6 litre TDI engine, featuring battery regeneration and start/stop technology, which Volkswagen promises will return a fuel consumption figure of just 3.5 l/100km - bettering the Toyota Prius and the MINI Cooper D.
Two more diesel engines will feature, both variants of a 2.0 litre turbodiesel producing 104 and 126kW respectively.
On the petrol front, Volkswagen's 90kW 1.4 litre TSI will be available, along with a 126kW 1.8 litre TSI, a 156kW 2.0 litre and the top-shelf 3.0 litre V6, producing 225kW.
Manual and DSG automatic transmissions will be offered, while Volkswagen's XDS electronic limited-slip differential will make its debut in the new Passat line-up.
Standard safety features will include the Automatic Distance Control auto-braking system, which uses computer controls to brake the car at speeds below 18mph (29-30km/h) if an unavoidable collision is detected.
Interestingly, the system will also automatically accelerate the vehicle if an 'imminent' rear-end impact is detected - so long as the system can also see a clear path ahead.
European sales will begin in early 2011. Australian pricing and availability has yet to be revealed.