volvo-lcpBelieve it or not, Volvo designed and built an automobile that achieved 58 MPG 30 years ago. That vehicle was called the LCP 2000. LCP means Light Component Project, and it could influence the fuel-sipping cars of today.

The project used lightweight materials like aluminum, magnesium, and plastics to keep curb weight down. This allowed the use of a very small engine, allowing fuel economy to shoot past the competition. This was a running, working concept car.

The Volvo LCP 2000 had a 1.3 liter, 50 HP three-cylinder turbo-diesel engine which was very lightweight because it was made of magnesium, and the option of a 1.4 liter, 90 HP one. Its performance can’t be judged by engine size compared to that of other cars because the body of this car and the engine are very lightweight.

0-60 mph time was about 11 seconds, and top speed was 110 mph. So it was slow, but not horrendously so, because it weighed justĀ 1,543 lbs, or about 700 kg. With automakers are now look at a wide range of options at lightening weight, cars like the Volvo LCP show that we have been down this road before.