One of the most erratic cars on the road, but it’s not as stupid as you might think.
Dec 27, 2022 15:01
Along Sebastian Bell
Few cars are as stunningly tall and lean as the 2005 Commuter Cars Tango. Incredibly, the car becomes even more amazing when it turns out that its electric drivetrain produces up to 800 horsepower.
To find out what it’s like, Donut Media decided to drive the all-electric Tango T600 for a day. Considering the car is only 39 inches (990 mm) wide, narrower than some motorcycles, and legally allowed to drive side by side in its lane, the results are almost remarkably normal (in some jurisdictions).
The brainchild of Rick Woodbury and his son Brian, the idea was to kill two birds with one stone and create an American-made electric car that takes up less space on the road. Electric powertrains are not only environmentally friendly, but they also help fight traffic jams in tight spaces.
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The result is a tandem seat configuration with a jet fighter feel. It’s fun and interesting, but it also means that there’s very little storage space inside the car.
Despite their lofty ambitions, the Woodburys were far from scruffy. Realizing that they should build a car worth getting excited about, they fitted the car with two of his electric motors capable of producing up to 800 horsepower (597 kW / 811 PS). This was attributed to a 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) time of 3.2 seconds for him and a top speed of 176 mph (283 km/h) if the gears were correct.
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Safety features such as a roll cage that meets the regulations of the NASCAR era and Sparco seats with multi-point harnesses are perfect. Also, to keep it from rolling, under the car he has a 2,000-pound (907 kg) battery to keep the center of gravity low.
Unfortunately, all of that engineering (and the fact that it never really made it to mass production) meant the car was pretty expensive. George Clooney got his hands on the first example, but it rang for $300,000 today, and few people could afford a car back then.
According to the Donut crew, it’s a bit steep for a car that’s inherently cobbled together. I predicted a time when it would be as fast and interesting as that. And it’s pretty cool.