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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 Fool's Day joke.
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 hefty 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.
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