• Nov 17, 2009
Jay Leno drives Commuter Cars' Tango - click above to watch the video after the jump

Jay Leno likes him some electric Tango. No, not the new dance craze all the kids are talking texting about, but rather the oddly-narrow but very quick two-seater from Commuter Cars. Now, regular Autobloggreen readers have seen the Tango before, posing beside George Clooney or perhaps drag racing Tesla Roadsters, and many have commented (less than favorably) on its, um, nonconformist appearance. Perfect fodder, one might think, for a crack by someone who knows a thing or two about comedy. Instead, our man Jay Leno plays things pretty straight as he chats with its creator Rick Woodbury before taking it for a spin.

Watching the clip, you can tell that Leno really likes it, especially from behind the wheel. He reports it doesn't feel like a small car inside and really only looks weird from the outside. He likes that it's unique and finds the fact you can lane split with it to be hilarious. However, the real reason he states "It makes you smile..." has less to do with the Tango's width as it does with the fact that "it goes like stink," a point which he happily reiterates.

Despite its turn-of-speed, one of the Tango's biggest shortcoming is its 40 mile range at highway speeds. The car's heavy lead acid batteries are great for keeping it upright around hard corners, but you can't expect to go too far with yesteryear's technology. During their pre-drive talk, Commuter Cars' Woodbury revealed that the company is finally about to put lithium battery pack in a test car, and he expects for it to go up to 200 miles. All of which strikes us as a much more reasonable number if he ever expects to bring skinny back. Hit the jump for video of a little Tango in Jay's Garage.



[Source: Jay Leno's Garage]




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car sounds promising but I just found out that it costs $121K to get one of these. Hopefully the price will go down with more electrics on the road.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That was the piece of info I was looking for. Price. That's still the big issue with these electric cars. Yeah, it's cute. Maybe even fun to drive but, would you pay over $100,000 for it? Give me a break, I could buy a whole fleet of customized, high-performance golf carts for that kind of dough.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Those headlights look like the headlights on a '96-00 Dodge Carvan
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wing mirrors are the same wing mirrors as on a Tesla Roadster.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly what I thought! And the taillamps appear to be from an Isuzu Rodeo. Gotta love small car companies. Every heard of an Invicta S1? Look at the tail lamps... hello, VW Passat-turned-sideways!
      • 5 Years Ago
      lol@ resting your arms on both window sills at the same time.
        • 5 Years Ago
        haha, that mental image just made my day.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That thing gave me vertigo just looking at it....
      • 5 Years Ago
      What's with the hesitation that happens when Leno gets on the accelerator several times while moving? There also seems to be hesitation on the final clip of the standing start.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Might be the controller limiting torque so as to not break components. When you have 1000+ ft-lbs of torque at 0 rpms you have to be careful how you handle it. I imagine being a small company their controller isn't as sophisticated that it is completely unnoticeable.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dancing + tazers = electric tango.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That car is NEAT!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think the biggest appeal of this 'car' to me is the fact that you could legally lane split.

      What are the laws on lane splitting then? It's clearly not about how many wheels, just the width?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, I know it's legal in CA but don't think it is in many other states.
      • 5 Years Ago
      jesus
      leno really pales painfully compared to jeremy clarkson as a presenter
      • 5 Years Ago
      The other fatal flaw besides the range is the truly massive clunk as it shifts gears at about 35 mph. You think it's breaking.

      It goes well though, despite the huge weight.

      Me and two other guys tried to tip it over (with the owner's approval), we couldn't do it, the batteries are REALLY heavy and located down low.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Fine, you say it isn't shifting, you explain it.

        I've actually driven one, I can tell you what it feels like. I can't say for sure it's actually shifting, but if it isn't, it's doing something else mechanically nasty. And it really feels like the vehicle is broken when it does it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Probably like my golf cart. As you push down on the accelerator, there's like 3 different "speeds" that the controller sends to the motor as a means of allowing the operator to control their speed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's direct drive - there are no gears to speak of.
      • 5 Years Ago
      About all he'll be able to afford after the Comcast deal is done. 2 nite show go bye-bye...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Jay could retire right now and would still earn more every year than you're ever likely to see. Why are you bitter about the Comcast deal?
      • 5 Years Ago
      How long before you find that someone tipped your car over in the parking lot as a joke?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was pretty sure I consistently heard "low center of gravity." It's not top heavy; to tip it over, one would have to essentially jack it up and then tip.

        So, y'know, no worries.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, that happens all the time to motorcycle riders... oh wait.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Same roll threshold as a Porsche 911. Doubt you'll see many of these getting rolled over as a prank.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why does it have two doors? It's a one-seater.
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