AMC Electron

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1977 AMC Electron concept vehicle 2-cars.jpg
Manufacturer American Motors Corporation (AMC)
Body and chassis
Class concept car
Body style three-passenger city car
Engine DC series traction
Wheelbase 60 in (1,524 mm) [1]
Length 85 in (2,159 mm) [1]
Width 69.5 in (1,765 mm) [1]
Height 46 in (1,168 mm) [2]

The AMC Electron was an American concept automobile built in 1977 by American Motors Corporation (AMC).


The experimental three-passenger commuter "city car" was designed for short-trip urban transportation.[2] The clamshell-style roof swung back on rear-mounted pivots for entry and egress.[3]

The Electron was based on previous development of the AMC Amitron.[4] Powered by a lightweight lithium battery system, the Electron was designed in anticipation of further advances in electronic technologies.[5] Innovative methods to efficiently use power included the vehicle's light weight and energy regeneration braking. The passenger seats were inflatable and designed to be deflated for luggage space.

Concept 80[edit]

The Electron (along with the AM Van, Grand Touring, Concept I, Concept II, and Jeep II) constituted the "Concept 80" program to illustrate what the company saw for future vehicles.[6] This nationwide tour of idea cars was also designed to highlight American Motors' role in developing new market segments.[4]

The show car was not drivable because it did not have a power train.[7]


  1. ^ a b c Automobile club d'Italia (1978). World Cars 1978. Herald Books. p. 40. ISBN 0-910714-10-X. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Brave New World". Cars & Trucks (National Automobile Dealers Association) 49: 25. 1977. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "AMC Displays Show Cars". Automotive News (Crain Automotive Group) 52. 1977. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "For the 1980's: AMC's Concept Cars". Popular Science 211: 99. September 1977. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  5. ^ Frumkin, Mitch; Hall, Phil (2002). American Dream Cars: 60 Years of the Best Concept Vehicles. Krause Publications. p. 337. ISBN 978-0-87349-491-5. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Concept 80". Iron and Steel Engineer (Association of Iron and Steel Engineers) 54: 177. 1977. Retrieved 4 March 2015. American Motors has unveiled unique concept cars which illustrate what the company sees as future trends in smaller, fuel-efficient automobiles for the 1980's. Collectively called "Concept 80," the vehicles range in wheelbase from 60 to 96 in. 
  7. ^ Flory, Jr., J. Kelly (2012). "Concept Cars". American Cars, 1973-1980: Every Model, Year by Year. McFarland. p. 937. ISBN 9780786443529. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  • American Motors Corporation, Public Relations Office, Detroit, MI., Press Release, dated 1977.
  • Torq-Q (19 July 2009). "Concept 80 news film". Youtube. Retrieved 4 March 2015.