Volvo LCP 2000

Trips down green car memory lane are always fun, both because we learn something about the past and because all the things that have been tried before illuminate all the things that are being tried now. Whether we’re looking at 40 years of electric vehicles at BMW or the controversial history of the EV1, there are some fascinating stories back there. The latest case in point is the Volvo LCP 2000, which turned 30 years old this week.

Volvo reminded us about the LCP 2000 to mark the occasion, showcasing the LCP 2000′s early use of lightweight materials and alternative fuels. The vehicle had two different turbodiesel engines, a 1.3-liter, 50-horsepower mill and a 1.4-liter, 90 hp powerplant. The latter could burn “any oil,” Volvo said, but the only alternative Volvo mentions is the biofuel rape seed (aka, canola) oil.

The LCP stands for Light Component Project, and the overall weight of the cars (Volvo made four versions) was at most 700 kilograms (1,543 pounds). This meant materials like carbon fiber, plastic, magnesium and aluminum were used throughout the car and resulted in a fuel consumption of under four liters per 100 kilomters, or around 60 miles per gallon. Read more in the press release below. The design of the LCP 2000 may be a bit dated, but that fuel economy number isn’t. Remarkably.

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By Sebastian Blanco