In the U.S. the new 2011 Volvo S60 is offered exclusively with a turbocharged straight-six engine developing upwards of 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, but overseas the car is offered with a whole range of engines including four- and five-cylinder turbodiesels and even a tiny 1.6-liter mill. In fact, overseas, the turbocharged six-cylinder is the range-topping option but we Americans can only dream of driving some of those smaller and more fuel efficient powerplants.

That may change--somewhat--as there are reports alleging that Volvo may introduce a turbocharged five-cylinder engine with around 250 horsepower on tap for the 2012 model year. Considering that the current six-cylinder model is priced from $37,700, we could see the newer 2012 Volvo S60 come in with a pricetag below $35,000 when equipped with the five-cylinder engine. 

All-wheel drive should remain standard on U.S. delivered models, even though overseas versions get front-wheel drive as standard. Straight line speed will almost certainly suffer but the benefits in fuel economy and possibly even handling, thanks to the lighter engine, will almost certainly be worth it.

Volvo is yet to confirm the news but we’ll keep you posted on any updates.

[Auto Motor and Sport]