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1981 probably had the most significant changes during the entire model run. The most obvious was the addition of two new models: The sporty SX/4 based on the Spirit and the low priced Kammback based on the old Spirit/Gremlin. All Eagles this year received new bumper end caps and an integrated bumper look that improved the overall looks of the car. Other new features were a restyled grill and the optional alloy wheels. Under the hood a four cylinder engine ( A Pontiac 2.5 L) was now standard making the 258 engine an option and a manual transmission became standard equipment as well. Three trim levels were offered in 1981; Base, DL/Sport and Limited. During the model year Select Drive was an option on some modes. This meant the driver could now choose between 2 wheel or 4 wheel drive at the flick of a switch from inside the car. Despite the addition of two models and the styling changes 1981 sales were about 9,000 fewer from the year before. The 3 orginal models took the biggest sales dives, especially the 2 and 4 door sedans; while the SX/4 sold very well as it attractive to younger first time 4WD buyers and more than likely first time AMC buyers.