• Mar 19, 2011
Translogic hits the streets in a Tango EV – Click above to watch video after the jump

The Tango electric vehicle looks like a cross between a G-Wiz and Goldmember's Corbin Sparrow. However, it has a hidden talent buried underneath its tandem seating configuration: It's quick – very quick. What does that mean exactly? Bradley Hasemeyer and the AOL Translogic crew decided to trek to Spokane, Washington and talk to the man behind the machine, to find out.

The brainchild of Rick Woodbury, the Tango EV is an electric two-passenger car capable of sub-four-second 0-60 mile per hour bursts. At just 39-inches wide, the Tango is narrower than a Honda Goldwing motorcycle. It's no cream-puff piece of plastic, either. Woodbury says you ought to be quite safe behind the wheel of the Tango thanks to its FIA-certified roll-cage and reinforced doors.

It's a tire-smoking electric two-door that looks as odd as it does fun. Whir past the jump to watch Translogic take the Tango EV for a spin.

[Source: Translogic]


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  • 29 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      A led sled that goes 0-60 in 3.8 seconds. Pretty good for a 3300 lb car.

      The owner/developer of Tango kept Zilla producing controllers for a while, they are currently not producing 2k Zillas as I understand at this point. Seems like a good controller, why is it always being discontinued? I need one. Zilla's are hand built like all the other components for drag racing EV's, imagine if they were produced on the scale of the ICE. EV's would be one tenth the cost of ICE cars.

      It is carbon fiber skinned, Dan F where are you? Excellent crash rating.

      It was funny to see it tear through that deep snow.
        • 3 Years Ago
        You forgot about the integrated steel safety cage though, I doubt the CF skin has any structural function at all.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This car makes so much sense to me. I would love to buy one but for under 20 K...

      I think Nissan should look into buying them out.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Thanks Chris

        I think you may be referring to "Land Glider" ? Great concept, though as you say at this point Nissan must have excluded this type of vehicle from their EV strategy. :(

        • 3 Years Ago
        Nissan already showed off a narrow tandem commuter EV that not only has a low center of gravity, but leans into turns for even better stability. That Nissan concept was also better looking than the Tango. So I doubt Nissan would be interested.

        Still, that does leave other potential corporate suitors. Tesla Motors might be interested, they'd probably fit their own motor, controller, and battery pack into it for increased range.
      • 3 Years Ago
      $108,000 was the old price, it's up to $150,000.00 starting price now. I still love the hell out of the Tango but for that cash I will take the Tesla or two Model S.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Same here. Tango is brilliant, but it's just way overpriced.
      • 3 Years Ago
      as I've said before it is a cool vehicle but ridiculous pricing aside, it has a fundamental problem in that it needs a heavy keel to function. the car weighs well over a ton!
      that means it can never benefit from weight optimization thus doomed to poor range for the dollar.
      you could widen the wheel stance a bit without widening the car and recline the seating a bit. then it might be viable. he focuses so intensely on lane but that's an illusion anyway because that really requires all cars on the road to be this type and what are the odds of that..
      but like so many others he wont listen either. so it will never be.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Chris, way to be pedantic. I of course meant widening the wheel stance without widening the rest of the body.
        and no the weight is not in the roll cage or it would fall over. a tube frame is actually a rather weight efficient structure, especially with higher strength steels like 4130 chromoly.

        tesla motors could probably have outperformed the lotus chassis with a tube construction and they really should have had the courage to build their own car from scratch. same as Ariel of england did and they sure didn't plow through 200million dollars to do that.
        tesla motors is a curious case study. a hero born from immense waste. a seemingly terrible business model that only works with a furnace fueled with cash.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The wheels are at the edge of the car, widening the wheel "stance" would mean widening the car. However, the video said it is 5 inches narrower than a Honda Gold Wing motorcycle, so it could use 2 or 3 more inches of width. Even a 42 inch wide tandem could still "lane split" like a motorcycle, moving between cars stuck in a traffic jam.

        The weight isn't just from the battery pack, it's also from the steel roll cage frame construction. Using a lighter weight aluminum or composite construction for the passenger compartment would not only reduce weight, but improve stability, too. Of course, the extra cost of lightweight high strength materials would have to be taken into consideration.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The truly impressive part is that they did this with only 1.5 Million investment.

      Range is ~50 miles with the lead acid battery. ~150 miles with largest optional Lithium.
      • 3 Years Ago
      @EV nerd Gene.

      I did as I promised , and held out an olive branch to DF. This was DF's response:

      [quote] ...there can only be peace in truth. if you were christian as you may think you are, you would know Jesus and his spirit and that is one of truth without pride. face your error, only then will you be clean. only then can we be friends.
      if you can show yourself to be reasonable in this matter I shall show you how I am also right in the matter of aerodynamics and weight. I shall show you specific designs and concepts and relevant elements of knowledge and inference.
      I am a computer scientist, specialized in artificial intelligence. I know mechanical engineering as well as electrical engineering to the point of being able to make the power in EVs. I have a wonderful glacial mind and I was right all along and you were wrong.[/quote]

      Is this sort of response really what you look for in a post?

      @DasBoese, I see what you mean...!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Anybody know what the range is?
      • 3 Years Ago
      One improvement I'd like to see is to change the door arrangement. Instead of both doors up front, requiring extra-wide doors and tilting the seat to get in and out of the back seat, they should redesign it with 1 door up front for the driver, and the other door on the opposite side at the back for the passenger. That would allow for easier access, use smaller doors, and improve structural rigidity in the passenger compartment. It might even reduce weight.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Always loved the car but lets get real this could be built and sold for under $20k team up with Honda or someone and this car would be a hit.
      • 3 Years Ago
      How could a grampus resist! DF finally revealed his standard for automotive design and functionality .

      The UK Ariel Atom!!!!

      No doors, no windows, no body work, no heater, no rear seats, no luggage, no roof, no windshield, no safety equipment, and NO BUYERS!

      This fool, has the temerity to tell Tesla, (Tesla mind you..) what they're doing wrong!

      Of course! Abandon the Tesla S and listen to ol' DF (who's never built anything) and build a car with No doors, No windows, No body work, No heater, No air-conditioning, No rear seats, No luggage,No roof, No windshield, No safety equipment, etc..!!

      Brilliant! that really convince all those ICE buyers to abandon the warm,safe comfort, of there current transport and by an EV with No doors, No windows, No body work, No heater, No air-conditioning, No rear seats, No luggage,No roof, No windshield, No safety equipment, etc..!!

      Gee, I 'll bet Tesla's really concerning by the outpouring of such a clown telling them how to spend THEIR money!

      I can just see them queueing up, cash in hand at Grampus Motors!

      DF, you have gone from irritatingly repeating the bleeding obviously, to conclusively revelling that you are just a blowhard who knows nothing.

        • 3 Years Ago
        "if you could just get poor old Dan F to cease his endless negative criticism of others"

        Not gonna happen.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EV nerd Gene

        I believe the US grants waivers for certain safety features for small annual production runs , I'm not sure though, it might be a state thing. Basic crash testing shouldn't be a problem though due to the integrated safety cage.

        In any case it was never intended for mass production in the first place, just like any other exotic sports car.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I like to hear everyone's opinions and ideas, and as far as I know; everyone's is welcome on this site

        Sometimes great ideas originate from the un-formally trained - without the constraints of pragmatism.
        just a few of my favorites as examples:
        Thomas Edison
        Henry Ford
        Soichiro Honda

        none of these 3 had formal educations beyond the 8th grade


        fyi: Tesla came up with some amazing concepts - dropped out of engineering school soon after the beginning of his junior year

        but some of his ideas were (or are still?) totally left field
        • 3 Years Ago
        Hey! A grampus fancier! Ok, quick answers to your questions.

        Q) Why do you constantly rain on everyone else's opinions and parade?
        A) Untrue! Not everyone! In fact, really only DF! Usually as a response to his asinine unqualified criticism of other's and only when he can't back his statements will either fact or reasoned argument. (you're different, just as offencive, but you defend your position with facts and admit when in error! That's all I ask! ).

        But just out of consideration for your opinion, I'll hold out an olive branch to DF, fair enough?

        Q 'If you are so smart, why don't you run for god ?"
        A) I don't think it's an elected office! (and even if it was, I might be registered to vote elsewhere!)

        Q) Back on Topic #..........
        A) I'm a little confused, I can't see where I said any of that on this thread? Or are these your views? If so, I concur completely! Although as I say, Rick Woodbury must have had real fun building such a quirky little monster!

        See not so hard to communicate, is it? Now, if you could just get poor old Dan F to cease his endless negative criticism of others, without any facts, we'd all get along better!


        • 3 Years Ago
        You've seen nothing.

        Go take a look at his site (I forgot the URL, but he will happily tell you).

        His ideal "ultralight" car is basically an enclosed, four-wheeled electric bicycle... capable of highway speeds. In other words, a death trap. If you're a mechanical engineer or have at least basic knowledge about automotive design, it's a good laugh.

        I think what really bugs him is to see other people actually build stuff for fun or sometimes even modest profit, because they're all so obviously inferior to his idea which he thinks will revolutionize human transportation.

        It's funny though how, when you push him hard on facts (such as aerodynamics or structural design) at some point he'll simply snap and detach from reality, ignore anything you said and declare himself the "winner". Or when he starts to fight you even though you agree with him. I've long suspected that he suffers from Asperger's or a similar autism spectrum disorder, because that would instantly explain it ;)
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ EV nerdGene

        Again you make a good point. Lots of highly successful people have 'risen from the ranks'! Equally, many people with brilliant advantages and education have failed miserably. Very true!

        Henry Ford, Tesla, Thomas Edison, Sōichirō Honda, all inspirational men.

        But, like most issues there's alway two sides to every issue, would you really want a self taught dentist ?

        While it didn't stop the greatness, it's also true that each of your hero's had flaws, as Nikola Tesla said of Edison,

        [quote]His method was inefficient in the extreme, for an immense ground had to be covered to get anything at all unless blind chance intervened and, at first, I was almost a sorry witness of his doings, knowing that just a little theory and calculation would have saved him 90% of the labour. But he had a veritable contempt for book learning and mathematical knowledge, trusting himself entirely to his inventor's instinct and practical American sense.[/quote]

        In old age Henry Ford's bloody mindedness nearly sent Ford bankrupt !

        Tesla himself, in later years, got a little odd.

        Sōichirō Honda, was the smartest, he actually went back to school, and had a well educated business partner.

        But as Thomas Jefferson said "I've never met a man whom I didn't know more about something than he, but then I've never met a man from whom I could not learn something of value."

        Abe Lincoln newly qualified as a Lawyer was asked, "what do you know of the Law?" replied " nothin' so much as will hurt me!"

        Interesting men Gene, and much to recommend them.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Mr. Polo,
        Why do you constantly rain on everyone else's opinions and parade?
        I enjoy hearing Dan's posts - usually more than yours.

        If you are so smart, why don't you run for god ?


        BACK ON TOPIC:
        #1 problem with this car is that it is a car (DOT 4-wheeled motorcycle ???), and would be very expensive, if not impossible, to make it pass the hundreds of safety regulations and laws pertaining to passenger vehicles in the US; like air bags - integrated and engineered systems that take millions to implement, and years of engineer, source, test, and have certified.

        I'll stop there. No good reason to beat-up on someones dream.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ DasBoese

        Sorry, your posts arrived while I was replying to EVGene.

        Yes, I agree, although I have had some fun tormenting DF! ,(Actually in the hope of persuading him that if he relaxed a little he might enjoy the forum more.)

        However, I have concluded that he's pretty sad and beyond any form of peer pressure. More importantly, it's obviously stopped being fun for everyone else, so I suppose I 'll just move on and ignore his absurd delusions.

        All new industries seem to attract these fringe people. DF is certainly less harmful than Shai Aggassi and the 'Better Place' cult.

        I was asked to act as spokesman to interview the former Member of State Parliament and Australian Chairman/CEO of 'Better Place', Mr Evan Thornley (and other BP exec's), at a conference for the Society of Automotive Engineers (Australia).

        The interview got really weird. It was like interviewing some cult leader. Very strange.

        But the simple fact emerged, once you strip away all the hype, the 'B/P' scheme is logistically unworkable.
      • 3 Years Ago
      For the low, low price of $108,000 +/- various multi thousand dollar options, YOU can have your dignity 100% removed or your money back!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Hilarious comment, 2WM!

        This sort of little vehicle has been cropping up since cars began. Of course it's expensive, it needs a lot of sophisticated engineering and expensive metallurgy just to meet minimum safety requirements.

        The comparison between it and a Gold-wing is valid since this Little car is really a four-wheel motor-cycle. Exactly who would be idiotic enough to buy one, let alone drive one in traffic, is a moot point.

        But, I bet I'll bet Rick had great fun building it, and as a novelty it's great!
        • 3 Years Ago
        I don't know, I think the ones whose dignity is in danger of removal are owners of (even more expensive) exotic sports cars when they find out what this thing can do.
        • 3 Years Ago
        At first blush, I thought the same thing - but after watching the video, I found I liked the CEO so much I appreciate the vehicle more.

        The guy started from scratch, put in less than $2M, and has a finished viable product to show for it.

        I was really concerned about tipping, but it does sound like their weight solution has addressed it - so, pretty slick little vehicle. Now if they could just get the price cut by an order of about 8 or 10.
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