The Maserati Kyalami is an automobile which was produced by Maserati in Italy from 1976 to 1983.
Named after the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in South Africa, it was a new model rushed into production after Alessandro de Tomaso took helm of the company. De Tomaso, took Tom Tjaarda's design of the De Tomaso Longchamp (itself inspired by the Mercedes 450SLC) modified the front and rear end to create a distinctive Maserati feel for the new car. The interior was also upgraded to incorporate classic Maserati elements such the steering wheel and instrumentation.
The Kyalami, a four-seater notchback coupe, was launched at the 1976 Geneva Motor Show and was initially available with Maserati's 4.2 litre V-8 engine (255 hp) and, starting in 1978, with a 4.9 litre-V8 delivering 290 hp (216 kW), both engines coupled with a ZF 5-speed manual transmission or on request a 3-speed automatic. Mechanically the Kyalami was closely related to its contemporary Quattroporte, also offered with the same engines and gearboxes.
All told, 155 Kyalamis were built between 1976 and 1983, although some sources quote 184, 188, and even 210. Due to its rarity very little was written in magazines about the Kyalami. However, direct owner experiences confirmed the fundamental validity of its design, with a well-balanced, stiff chassis offering excellent body control and an agile, very easy to control handling.
The performance offered by the big bore 4.9 V8 was also excellent thanks to the abundant power and torque delivered by the engine. Its performance was a notch above all its contemporary competitors; that the Kyalami did not achieve the success it deserved is a sad story of missed opportunities.
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