Nothing huge ever actually got here out from Commuter Vehicles, regardless of claims that it could ship probably the most groundbreaking electrical automobile that may completely, completely and irretrievably change metropolis commute – along with being marketed as “chick magnet” (no joke). Regardless of endorsement from Clooney and intense protection within the media on the time, the Tango T600 by no means went into manufacturing and it appeared that Commuter Vehicles slowly light away into obscurity.
Because it seems, they’re nonetheless round and, as of late final 12 months, nonetheless making these micro-cars. The official web site remains to be on-line and, by the seems to be of issues, when you have a median of $120,000, you may deal with your self to considered one of these cute, moderately silly-looking vehicles that aren’t simply all-electric but additionally extremely spectacular spec-wise.
Extra importantly, you may brag to your mates about paying $120,000 for a $420,000 automotive as a result of, apparently, that’s how a lot making considered one of these prices.
Again in 1998, Rick Woodbury and his son arrange Commuter Vehicles in Spokane, Washington. Commuting to work, Rick had a type of eye-opening realizations: individuals had been commuting to work by private automotive, however nobody ever took a passenger, a lot much less carpooled. Given visitors congestion world wide and contemplating that doubling the variety of lanes wasn’t doable, what if somebody – say, Rick himself – made a automotive that took up solely half the house? This manner, you possibly can match double the variety of vehicles within the present variety of lanes.
The concept is making a comeback of types nowadays, when bike makers are attempting to make two-wheelers as comfy and spacious as micro-cars. And, come to think about it, micro-cars by no means actually went out of vogue: they had been by no means in vogue to talk of, retaining novelty standing.
However the Tango T600 is, based on Rick, in a league of its personal. Not solely is it probably the most environment friendly automotive on the earth, it’s additionally the most secure and possibly probably the most spacious given its misleading exterior, and the quickest and most dependable EV on the market. It’s what Commuter Vehicles claims, we’re not making this up.
For starters, the Tango claims to be quick: with 805 hp (sure, you might be studying this proper, that is what they declare), it solely takes it 3.2 seconds to do zero to 60 mph (zero to 96.5 kph) and may attain prime speeds of 150 mph (240 kph). Secondly, it’s dependable: in the event you assume at that velocity it could topple over or might overturn on the slightest flip, know that it has a really low middle of gravity and a FIA-certified rollcage. The majority of the load of the automotive is within the battery pack, which sits underneath the automotive, making it just about roll-over proof.
“Tango might seem unsafe nonetheless, it has a race automotive roll cage and weighs as a lot as a mid-sized sedan,” Woodbury says. “With two-thirds of its weight beneath the ground, it has a 5 star roll over threshold ranking, the identical as a 911 Porsche. On the within it’s very comfy, you’re proper within the middle of the automotive and also you’re on the driving force’s facet on each side – you’ve bought higher visibility than any automotive I’ve ever had.”
The Tango boasts a doable vary of as much as 150 miles (240 km), relying on what choices you select, which may be additional prolonged in the event you tow a trailer with common gasoline behind you. As a result of driving this factor shouldn’t be ridiculous sufficient.
Powered by two motors, the Tango may be absolutely charged in simply three hours, and comes with further security options like a 4-point harness, customized Sparco seats, wonderful maneuverability (Commuter Vehicles claims some form of document within the Moose Check) and higher velocity and total efficiency than any bike and even common vehicles from established marques. You additionally get a 400-Watt sound system, CD, DVD, Sat-Nav and backup digital camera, and AC.
If that’s not sufficient to impress you, the Tango can be supposedly greater on the within than the automotive it’s possible you’ll be driving proper now – you simply can’t inform since you’re letting your view of the outside deceive you into passing judgment on it. “Really, the space from the middle of the steering wheel to the within door panel is ½” (1.27 cm) greater than a Subaru Outback, and just one/2″ (1.27 cm) lower than a Dodge Ram pickup,” Commuter Vehicles says.
Regardless of being a equipment automotive constructed of separate elements from different producers (as a result of Commuter Vehicles couldn’t safe funds to start out its personal manufacturing line), solely 12 Tangos had been ever made within the firm’s 22-year historical past.
And right here’s the cherry on prime, which doubles because the blueprint for an unprofitable enterprise: every of those vehicles value an estimated $420,000 to make, regardless that they had been offered at a median of $120,000. With this in thoughts, you need to admire the resilience and willpower to maintain making these micro-EVs that nobody appears to need.
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