Maserati Kyalami

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Maserati Kyalami
Manufacturer Maserati
Production 1977-1983
Designer Pietro Frua[1]
Body and chassis
Body style 4-seat coupé
Related De Tomaso Longchamp
Engine 4.2 and 4.9 L V8 petrol
Transmission 5-speed ZF manual
3-speed Borg Warner automatic
Wheelbase 2,600 mm (102 in)
Length 4,610 mm (181 in)
Width 1,870 mm (74 in)
Height 1,320 mm (52 in)
Curb weight 1,670 kg (3,680 lb)
Predecessor Maserati Mexico

The Maserati Kyalami (Tipo 129) was a four-seat GT coupé produced by Italian manufacturer Maserati from 1976 to 1983.

Following a Maserati tradition – started with the Sebring – the car was named after a racing track where the Trident's cars had triumphed: the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in South Africa.

The Kyalami was the first new model developed under the Alejandro de Tomaso ownership; it was derived from the Longchamp, a three-box grand tourer made by De Tomaso Automobili. Pietro Frua was commissioned from De Tomaso the restyling of the Tom Tjaarda-designed Longchamp, to give the new car a distinctive Maserati feel; the interior was also upgraded to incorporate classic Maserati elements such the steering wheel and instrumentation. Maserati's four overhead camshaft 90° V8 replaced the Ford powertrain of the Longchamp.

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.[1] 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 Warner automatic. Mechanically the Kyalami was closely related to its contemporary Quattroporte, which was also offered with the same engines and gearboxes.

Rear view.

210 Kyalamis[2] 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.


  1. ^ a b "Special Bodies: Illustrations and technical information", World Cars 1977 (Pelham, NY: The Automobile Club of Italy/Herald Books): 20, ISBN 0-910714-09-6 
  2. ^ Page at Enrico Maserati website


  • Cancellieri, Gianni; al. (2003). Maserati. Catalogue Raisonné 1926-2003. Milan: Automobilia. ISBN 88-7960-151-2.