The first American Motors AMX car was a sporty muscle car based on the AMC Javelin. The Javelin was discontinued after 1974 but an AMX option package was available on the Hornet in 1977, the Concord in 1978 and the Spirit in 1979 and 1980. The Spirit is a small, three-door hatchback coupe that was available into the mid-1980s and came standard with a four-cylinder engine. The AMX package of 1979 and 1980 added several sporty features and a larger engine to the Spirit.
Exterior and Interior Dimensions
The 1979 AMC AMX has a 96-inch wheelbase. The overall length is 168.5 inches, the overall width is 71.8 inches and the height from road to roof is 51.6 inches. The front track is 58.1 inches wide and the rear track is 57.5 inches wide. The interior front headroom is 37.8 inches, while the rear headroom is 33.5 inches. Front-seat legroom is 40.8 inches, while rear-seat passengers have only 27.7 inches of legroom. Cargo capacity with the rear seats folded down is 24.8 cubic feet. The total weight of the AMX is 2,970 pounds.
The standard engine in the 1979 AMX is a 258-cubic-inch, overhead-valve, inline six-cylinder. This engine came standard with a two-barrel carburetor. The power output is 114 horsepower at 3,600 rpm and 196 foot-pounds of torque at 2,000 rpm. The cylinder bore is 3.750 inches and the crankshaft stroke is 3.895 inches. The compression ratio is 8-to-1. The only optional engine available in the AMX is a 304-cubic-inch, overhead-valve V-8. This engine also came standard with a two-barrel carburetor but the output is slightly higher than that of the 258 six-cylinder, being 125 horsepower at 3,200 rpm and 220 foot-pounds of torque at 2,400 rpm. The cylinder bore is 3.750 inches and the crankshaft stroke is 3.753 inches. The compression ratio is 8.4-to-1.
The AMX came standard with many features, which were available at extra cost or not available at all on other AMC models. The AMC came with a four-speed manual transmission, while other models had only a three-speed as standard equipment. Specially tuned suspension, performance-tuned exhaust, a front air dam, aluminum wheels, a rear deck spoiler and AMX decals on the body sides and hood are some of the exterior AMX features. Interior features included a gauge package with tachometer, courtesy lights, custom bucket seats, full-length console with armrest, leather-wrapped steering wheel and an instrument panel parcel shelf.