Hyundai Driving Experience, in Monza to experience the emotions of the N brand

Hyundai Driving Experience, a Monza abbiamo vissuto le emozioni del brand N thumbnail

“Houses no longer think about emotions“. How many times have you heard this, at the bar or among friends? And if this is, alas, true in several cases, there are exceptions that still focus on the emotionality of the car. Come Hyundai, which with his brand N points just to ignite the passion in its customers. For this we went to the Temple of Speed, Monza, to participate in the Hyundai Driving Experience, the course open to all to learn the fundamentals of sports driving. Our companions for the day? Hyundai i30N Fastback and the brand new i20N. Ready to have fun?

The N brand: young, but ambitious, between peppery versions and real thrilling Hot Hatches

Let’s start with one quick examination of the brand N, which maybe some of you still don’t know. The simplest way to explain what it is is to equate it with illustrious colleagues. N is to Hyundai as AMG is to Mercedes, R is to Volkswagen, S is to Audi and M is to BMW. It is therefore the Hyundai’s sports division, which takes care both of making the production versions more delicious but also of creating real purebred sports cars, as well as the adventures in motorsport of the Korean manufacturer.

At the base of the “N pyramid” there is in fact the N-Line series. Like M-Sport for BMW, R-Line for Volkswagen and so on, it is an aesthetic characterization, internal and external, of the production cars, from the small i10 to the Tucson SUV. For the small i10 and i20, moreover, the N-Line version also brings more power than the normal versions, with the i10 which with its 100 HP is proposed as a small city pepper. In addition to slightly more sparkling engines, larger rims, sporty moldings and interiors with contrasting stitching, the N-Lines are not true sports cars.

Hyundai Driving Experience i30n bianca

That is the task of the real N, the home sports. For who was wondering, N stands for both Namyang, Hyundai’s super-technology testing center in Korea, both for Nurburgring, where every high-performance Hyundai is tested and developed. And in fact all Hyundai N creations are capable on the track, but above all fun on the road. The N approach is in fact very particular. All upgraded components (brakes, engines, mechanical differentials, gearboxes) are home made, a rarity these days. The cars are powerful, but not exaggerated. The goal is in fact to be usable every day, practical and versatile, but capable of entertaining the rider in the real world, on the road, and not just on the track.

For now, the Hyundai N range has consisted of only the i30N and its sedan version, the i30N Fastback. But 2021 will bring both the i20N, which we “tasted” on the track, both there Kona N, the sporty SUV with the same mechanics as the i30N. Plus, Hyundai told us about a fourth model, still unknown, arriving within a year. Who knows what it is …

hyundai driving experience tarquini

Maybe it’s the new one Elantra, the sedan proposed on the American market and which is winning in the WTCR championship with ours Gabriele Tarquini, present at the day on the track in Monza. And this is it third soul of Hyundai N, the competitions. Both in WTCR than in World Rally, and consequently in the European Touring and Rally Championships and so on, Hyundai has dived headlong into competitions, still seeing the passion that moves the car world and wanting to be known and loved by the public thanks to the successes on the track.

Hyundai thus has a truly varied range. It has traditional cars, petrol, diesel, LPG, compact and midsize sedans. Then it has SUVs, Crossover and successful models. It is also present in the range every single form of sustainable power supply: mild hybrid, full hybrid, plug-in, electric, hydrogen. But alongside all this, there is no lack of emotionality. Hyundai knows that the sports car world is a niche world, but it is a niche that, despite everything, does not give up, does not diminish. Alongside Kona Electric, now, there will also be Kona N, for those who still want to have fun behind the wheel and do not want to give up the emotions that only a traditional sports car can give. And so on: Hyundai told us it doesn’t want to abandon the emotional car market, but rather enter it even further.

Hyundai Driving Experience, what is it? We tested it in Monza, the Tempo della Speed

To spread these emotions and at the same time teach the new generations (and not only) the fundamentals of sports driving, the Seoul company has launched the Hyundai Driving Experience, a multi-level experience where you can learn to drive strong, well and always having fun in a safe environment. We were invited to the Monza stage and we tried the activities of the Level 1, the first of the two levels proposed by Hyundai. If Level 2 is already dedicated to trajectories, rope points and expert activities, Level 1 allows you to learn the fundamentals of sports driving and track driving, in the meantime testing the qualities of the Hyundai N.

We cannot tell you about the day, however, without at least mentioning the track where we spent 24 hours of emotions. And Hyundai for this lap has chosen a legendary circuit, theMonza National Circuit. This track, famous all over the world even by those who are not passionate about engines, has been home to the Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix for over 70 years, and is known globally as the Temple of Speed, the Temple of Speed.

hyundai driving experience monza2

This name derives not only from the history of this track, but from its incredible conformation. Until the 1960s, it also housed the famous “High Speed ​​Ring”, an oval now disused and now only accessible on foot, but this immediately makes it clear that Monza is not a winding and guided track, on the contrary. In the Formula 1 World Championship, Monza is the fastest track of all. There are “only” 11 curves during the 5,793 meters of the track, which combines technical curves at 90 degrees like the two Lesmo curves, narrow chicanes such as the Prima Variante or the Variante della Roggia e very fast curves such as the Biassono, the Variante Ascari or the legendary Parabolica. Two very long parallel straights then they complete one of the most legendary and exciting circuits in the world, which we got to know thoroughly during our day on the track with Hyundai.

The day: braking, change of direction, nailed. There is everything to have fun

In order to approach the fast and very technical Monza track with relative calm, the day begins immediately with a bang. Indeed, with ram. In fact, we immediately became familiar with the car we drove the most during the day, a very black one Hyundai i30N Fastback, training with the emergency braking. An apparently simple exercise, but which hides a pitfall not just:habit. On the road in fact we are used to brake gently, calmly and without being abrupt. Well, this on the track and in sporty driving is wrong.

Hyundai Driving Experience frenata

When braking on the track, he steps on the brake with all the strength he has in his body. The Hyundai N have a screen dedicated to driving information on the infotainment screen, which also includes the use of the brake. Well, braking like on the road we reached a maximum of 40% brake pressure. On the track, to be effective and not to stress too much braking, you need to get as close as possible to 100%. For this reason, in fact, the first exercise teaches us to brake hard, arriving as fast as possible and then pounding with all our weight on the brake.

Hyundai Driving Experience frenata in curva

After doing the first exercise, the second is definitely tougher, and it includes it look, braking and trajectory. Through cones placed in the curve Parabolica, in fact, we first crossed an ideal trajectory, and then we made one emergency braking in full curve. It is not something that should be done, but it can happen on the road that we have to brake with all our will to avoid an accident. Thanks to today’s safety systems such as ABS and ESP, today you can brake when cornering without risking going off the road. Just press the pedal firmly, and set the safest trajectory. The secret, however, is the use of the gaze.

Hyundai Driving Experience cambio corsia

As motorcyclists know, you have to look far to be sure of where your wheels are going. This is not taught in driving schools, and is at the root of many accidents where, looking only a few meters from the front of the car, there are no problems or sudden braking. For this reason, in this exercise and in the next one, changing lanes at speed, the use of the gaze is essential. Looking far allows you to be much more precise and quick in your decisions, and to have more time to decide your moves. Starting from 80 up to 115 km / h, cchanging lanes without hitting the cone is not easy, but using your eyes and hands correctly is possible, and very satisfying.

We put ourselves to the test seriously: J-inversions and slalom with the small i20N, challenge with yourself and with the stopwatch

The last activity of the morning was the mythical one inversion to J, seen in movies over and over again. What’s it about? Reverse quickly, then when you want to reverse gear, turn slightly to one side, then all the way to the other side and reverse the direction of travel at speed. A useless maneuver for driving both on the track and on the road, but which helps in mastering the car, in the safety of one’s own vehicles and in creating the feeling with the car.

Hyundai Driving Experience inversione J

Not an easy maneuver, especially with the automatic gearbox of our i30N. The biggest difficulty, in addition to having the right confidence, is the movement of the hands, which must be very fast and precise. After a few unsuccessful attempts, however, the maneuver enters my mechanisms, and in the end I manage (with satisfaction and also relief) to complete the complete maneuver. A mix of recklessness, ability and technique required to carry out this maneuver, still fascinating today as few.

Hyundai Driving Experience slalom

Finally, before the final exercise we left the “big” i30N Fastback aside to get on the small one i20N, for the last financial year: lo slalom. Articulated around the First Variant, the slalom tests everything that has been learned. Speed ​​of execution, braking, use of eyes, and with the manual gearbox also a good command of the lever and “fast” gear changes. So as not to put pressure on us, every attempt was timed, and to eliminate all waiting we had to clashing against time made by Cinghio himself, Gabriele Tarquini. From his enormous experience in Formula 1 and World Touring, the 59-year-old from Teramo has achieved a time of 27.5 seconds, the time to beat.

The small one…