Commuter Cars Tango
Production of the first version, at a rate of about 100 cars per year, was set to begin in late 2005. Actor George Clooney took delivery of the first Tango kit on August 9, 2005, which was a major milestone for the company. Clooney appeared in the press with the car, explaining and promoting it. Difficulties with their UK manufacturer forced CommuterCars to take over manufacturing themselves; for this reason the second vehicle did not ship until February 11, 2008, and was completely assembled in Spokane, Washington. The second car eventually found its way into the second-floor office of Google CEO Eric Schmidt as part of an April Fools' Day joke. By 2014, fewer than 20 cars had been built in the United States.
The Tango is thinner than some motorcycles and may be small enough to legally ride side-by-side with other small vehicles in traffic lanes in some jurisdictions. Capable of seating two passengers in a tandem seating arrangement, it only takes up one-quarter of a standard parking space and is able to park sideways in many cases. One prototype vehicle has been produced by the company and was shipped to Prodrive in the United Kingdom in January 2005, where the design was refined for production models.
The first model is the luxury Tango T600, costing roughly US$108,000. Premium features partially offset the high cost of the early kit vehicles, which are outfitted with a leather-lined interior and a Alpine sound system. The T200 model is expected to be eventually released at $40,000, while the T100 is expected with a $19,000 price tag. Both of these higher-production models remain to be developed and are awaiting funding.
While the vehicle appears unstable at first glance, its heavy battery pack and low ground-clearance combine to give it a center-of-mass only 11 inches from the ground, allowing for stable handling. About two-thirds of the 3,000+ lb (1360+ kg) curb weight in the prototype — comparable to a standard sedan — is taken up by the batteries, twin motors, and controller, mounted low in the frame. Production models are expected to weigh less, ranging from 2,200 to 2,500 lb (1,000 to 1,130 kg). Propulsion is provided by two electric motors. To extend its range, an optional generator cart can be attached to the Tango.
A dryer outlet will give most of a charge in an hour, or a full charge in less than 3 hours. With a 110-volt outlet, it’s still easily charged overnight. With a 200-amp off-board charger, the Tango can be charged to 80% in about 10 minutes.
- Width: 39 inches (~99 cm)
- Length: 101 inches (~257 cm)
- Weight: 3000+ lb (1360+ kg)
- 0–60 mph (0–96 km/h): 3.2 seconds 
- ¼ mile (0.4 km): 12 seconds @ over 120 mph (193 km/h) 
- Top speed: 150 mph (240 km/h) 
- Range: 40–60 miles (96–128 km) with lead-acid batteries. Over 150 miles (240 km) with lithium-ion batteries.
- Batteries: 12 V * 19 Hawker Odyssey's or 25 Exide Orbital XCD's or Optima Yellow Tops. Lithium-ion battery options available for a premium of $25,000 to $45,000.
- Nominal Voltage: 228 V with 19 Hawkers, 300 V with 25 batteries, 250 V with lithium-ion batteries.
- Charging: 50 A Manzanita Micro on-board charger with Avcon conductive coupling. 200 A off-board charger under development.
- Motors: 2 Advanced DC Motors DC FB1-4001 9", one driving each rear wheel with over 1,000 lb⋅ft (1,400 N⋅m) of combined torque at low rpms. 8,000 rpm redline.
- George Clooney - actor
- Sergey Brin - Cofounder of Google
- Larry Page - Cofounder of Google
- David Swingle - instructor of Programming & Software Development at Francis Tuttle Technology Center
In popular culture
- The Tango is featured in the pilot episode of the HBO sitcom Silicon Valley. As the main character watches the car drive away, he comments on the car's width by saying "That is a narrow car."
- A car based on the Tango, called the "Merengue", appears in Watch Dogs 2 as a drivable car.
- It also appears in the 2012 film Robot & Frank.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tango T600.|
- Myers Motors NmG – Narrow electric car of similar size
- Lumeneo Smera – Battery electrical vehicle, narrow bodied design
- Tesla Roadster (2008) - Battery electric vehicle powered by lithium ion batteries
- William Garrison (geographer) – studied concept of narrow vehicles
- Messerschmitt KR200, Messerschmitt TG500 – narrow bodied cars, but with outrigger wheels
- Volkswagen 1-litre concept car – wide body but narrow canopy and tandem seating for reduced air drag.
- Renault Twizy – Slightly wider (119 cm) and shorter (232 cm) electric car
- "Schmidt April Fool Cars 1986 & 2008". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-11-05.
- Commuter Cars Performance
- "FB1-4001 Motor". Evmotors.com.au. Retrieved 2011-11-05.
- Slim Fit For The Freeways, The Early Show (CBS), October 2, 2003.
- Paula Bock, Stopping Traffic: Can the car that Rick and Bryan built get traction?, The Seattle Times, July 27, 2003.
- Xeni Jardin, Speed Between the Lines, Wired 12.12, December 12, 2004.