Comparison between the front end of the De Tomaso Longchamp (top) and Maserati Kyalami (bottom).
The Kyalami was launched at the 1976 Geneva Motor Show and was initially powered by a 265 PS (195 kW) 4.2 litre engine. Starting in 1978, the larger 4.9 litre V8 delivering 290 PS (213 kW) was also available. Both engines were coupled with a ZF five-speed manual transmission or upon request a three-speed Borg Warnerautomatic. Mechanically the Kyalami was closely related to its contemporary Quattroporte, which was also offered with the same engines and gearboxes.
210 Kyalamis were built between 1976 and 1983. 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 bore 4.9 V8 was characterized by the abundant power and torque delivered by the engine.