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Imagine Half The Traffic
Drive half the car...but half in size only.


Check out the Tango.

Every commuter knows that the current system of driving alone to and from work in heavy traffic is crazy, yet there hasn't been any real alternative. Until Commuter Cars came along, no one could buy their way out of a traffic jam without climbing on a motorcycle. We're changing all that with the introduction of the two-seat Tango.

The Tango is a glimpse into the future of commuting. Lane doubling, lane splitting, and perpendicular parking will become commonplace. Traffic-induced headaches and lost time will fade into the past. No more worries about safety as you're ballasted for flat-out cornering stability and protected by a racing-certified roll cage designed to protect you and your passenger. Park in places you wouldn't even dream of in a Mini Cooper. Emission-free and exciting, the electric Tango T600 is designed to beat most sports cars in the quarter mile with acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in just 4 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph!


Posted by aalkon at May 28, 2005 9:53 AM

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Even if it's built with carbon fiber and superstructure of the sturdiest titanium, encircled by an array of Roddenberry energy shields, phasers and photon torpedos, and karmically consecrated with the blood of a virgin from a family of Mayan nobles...

Do you REALLY want to be in an accident in one of these? Seriously, if I could commute on a freeway with nothing but Tangos, I'd want one really badly.

Posted by: Crid at May 28, 2005 10:10 AM

Here's a bit on the safety of the Tango:

"Because safety is such a concern for small cars in particular, we have designed the Tango around a roll cage that meets or exceeds both SCCA and NHRA regulations. These are racing organizations that specify cage design to protect the occupants of cars crashing at over 200 mph. In addition, the extremely high strength-to-surface area ratio of a steel roll cage allows superb visibility from within the Tango. Rollover too is a great danger for many vehicles. The Tango, being so narrow, would look to the layman's eye to be unstable. But in fact, the Tango has stability that exceeds that of most sport cars."

Likewise,my aluminum Insight (1900 lbs) has a steel cage. Still, thanks to all the inconsiderate, self-absorbed Yahoos in Hummers and the like, I would say I honk about five times, minimum, per ride. Better safe (and irritating) than sorry. Gregg has joked about getting me a trucker horn -- like the kind on an 18 wheeler. It's not a bad idea. Huge horn, Mr. Magoo-sized car. I love the humor of it. Then again, some asshole in a huge-mobile is bound to have their masculinity challenged (woman or man) and might come after me with a gun.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at May 28, 2005 10:45 AM

They remind me of the "Smart" cars in Europe, which are a bit cuter, aren't they? (They're less "smashed" and narrow-looking. The Smart were supposed to come to the US but I haven't seen any in L.A. yet.

Posted by: Emmanuelle at May 28, 2005 3:14 PM

I'm sorry, but I need a car wide enough so that someone can lie down in the front seat and give me head.

Posted by: Lena-doodle-doo at May 28, 2005 4:50 PM

That second picture is too funny! It really made me laugh. Ther are lots of small cars like that over here.. but few of the large vans so the small cars don't seem so small.

Posted by: Auntie M at May 28, 2005 11:45 PM

You may have to settle for a reach-around Lena.

Posted by: eric at May 29, 2005 7:48 AM

In one picture the woman in the rear seat is wearing a tiara, as if it were prom night. But she doesn't get a door. So not only does she get to climb into an awkward back seat on an elevated floor, she gets cooked if there's a fire.

If tango owners can't have their own freeways, how about we do it like this: From 730am - 830am and 530pm and 630pm, all the other traffic has to get off the 405, 101 and 138 to make room for the Tangos and motorcycles.

There was a Smart car at Ralphs on Olympic a few weeks ago. The fiberglass (?) body feels like paper mache when you tap it with a knuckle.

Maybe in a few particular towns, you could build the entire traffic system around little cars and make it work. But in the big picture, the installed base of heavy vehicles is going to be a problem. It's like we're whipping out switchblades after everyone's gone nuclear.

Posted by: Cridland at May 29, 2005 8:36 AM

I do like the idea of special highways for those who drive vehicles more positive environmentally and safer to encounter in an accident!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at May 29, 2005 9:54 AM

Tiny little freeways with darling little offramps.

Posted by: Crid at May 29, 2005 5:30 PM

Eric -- One thing I'll say for SUVs: you can get really fucking nasty in them. And tinted windows help keep away the cops.

Crid -- "darling little offramps" gave me a good laugh. thank you kindly.

Leener the Weener

Posted by: Lena-doodle-doo at May 30, 2005 3:44 PM

Sorry, I've got big luggage and fat family members- no way and hell I can work that little thing. But if you're short on baggage it seems like a cute car.

Posted by: Lia at May 31, 2005 1:43 AM

Lena- you could probably get a daisy chain going in my Tahoe.

(Sorry Amy- it's hard to tow a boat or plow through 3 foot snowdrifts in a Honda.)

PS- Amy- I was talking to some GM guys over the weekend and they will be coming out with a hybrid Chevy Tahoe in 2007. It will actually weigh more than the current model (6200 lbs) due to the large lead acid batteries...

Posted by: eric at May 31, 2005 12:33 PM

Amy - read the CommuterCar site as a religious tract, and you'll see some fallacies. Once upon a time I had the NHRA rule book, and the various classes have their different standards; the Tango's cage is only *implied* to be the equivalent of those "200-MPH" race cars (which actually are up to the far side of 340 MPH, now). This implication is disturbingly like those used in various homeopathic "remedy" claims.

There is another implication, in that electric power and performance figures are not actually tied together. If you look at or any other automotive Web site, a specific vehicle's power output is published, because the public needs to know what they can expect on the freeway.

I buy the idea of efficient cars - I just got a Sentra when I could get anything - but the site has far more fluff than content. I hope that changes.

By the way - on a recent trip to Duluth, MN, we passed two Priuses. On the interstate, of course, their batteries are just dead weight. But - I bet you can start anything with one of those and some jumper cables!

Posted by: Radwaste at June 1, 2005 11:48 AM

I appreciate your analysis -- and I actually see all claims (including those by professors, etc.) as hyperbole until proven otherwise. Lena is a very good instructor in data-reading and bullshit extrication!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 1, 2005 12:48 PM

Has anyone noticed that you get nada, zip, nil credit with your auto insurance people for attending a serious driver's school, such as Skip Barber's?

Even as we can all get behind the idea of banning low-performance drivers, society presently makes no distinction between the inept and the skilled - and the majority of the public runs around thinking they actually know how to drive, even as they flatly do not know how hard their car will turn or stop - the utter basics are beyond their experience.

Pbbbb! And go, Lena!

Posted by: Radwaste at June 2, 2005 8:53 PM

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