At the wheel of Hyundai i30 N on the bends of the Stelvio Pass | Special

At the wheel of Hyundai i30 N on the bends of the Stelvio Pass | Special

With the arrival of summer and, consequently, of the holiday period, it is not difficult to hypothesize more or less long itineraries to travel by car to taste the most beautiful roads of our beautiful country. As Jeremy Clarkson well reminded us in one of the numerous episodes of The Grand Tour, in Italy we have some of the most beautiful and enjoyable roads to travel by car, a real panacea for those who love to get behind the wheel and drive tens of kilometers without ever stopping.

On the occasion of the press test of the Hyundai i30 N, one of the most famous and appreciated hot-hatches of all time, we decided to retrace all the (almost) 50 km needed to go up and down from the Stelvio Pass.

Where it is and how to reach the Stelvio

The Trentino side, on the other hand, has a difference in height of 1,800 meters with a distance of 26 km and 48 hairpin bends to cover. The average slope from the South Tyrolean part is similar to that of Valtellina. If you intend to cover the Stelvio Pass entirely, you will soon find yourself going through almost 90 hairpin bends in less than 50 km.

It is also possible to reach the pass from Switzerland, starting from the hamlet of Santa Maria Val Monastero, reaching the Umbrail Pass and finally on the SS38. Always pay attention to bottlenecks and wet asphalt, it is not uncommon to find unsafe stretches of asphalt. All the Stelvio Pass tunnels are well lit both day and night, but we always recommend the utmost caution.

If, in addition to being passionate about driving, you love aerial shots, however, we remind you that without authorization it is forbidden to fly inside the National Parks, such as the Stelvio Park. | ); }

How is Hyundai i30 N

As anticipated in the preface, Hyundai i30 N is a really interesting hot-hatch that we had the chance to try, for a short time and with winter tires, a few months ago. We will therefore not dwell again on the aesthetic aspect, accessories and on-board equipment as there are no differences in this regard. What is important, however, to know that the little gem baked by Hyundai and now in its third generation is fast, incredibly sharp and above all lightning-fast in the changes.

For our test, Hyundai supplied us with a model equipped with 235/35 19 ″ spoke Pirelli P Zero tires with bodywork in the splendid pastel Shadow Gray color. The price of this specimen, almost “stock”, is just under 45 thousand euros.

How it works Hyundai, for the N range, provides a high degree of customization (delivery, suspension, gearbox, electronic differential) that allows you to mold the i30 N to your own pleasure. The difference between one driving setting and another can also be dramatically drastic, in particular the greatest difference can be seen in the set-up that manages to become extremely rigid, precise and dry.

In our opinion, the Korean hot-hatch appears confident and sincere; the steering is precise, the suspension is effective and the electronically controlled differential is always able to “push” the car out of every curve. Braking is solid, an experience that we had already measured during the track tests at the Monza racetrack.


We remind you that the i30 N, like Kona N, with a power of 280 horsepower is included in the super stamp and therefore maintenance in Italy is quite expensive: between stamp and super stamp the figure to be pay out is just over 1,000 euros. A choice that could make you turn up your nose, but unfortunately inevitable.

If you are looking for a sports car with around 300 horsepower but prefer solutions closer to the universe of SUVs and crossovers, remember that the Hyundai N range also offers the Kona N; it is a small 280 horsepower crossover capable of offering truly extraordinary sensations. If you are curious, we suggest you read our experiential tour that we traveled with friends of DRIIVE.

Fast yes, but better on the track

Finally, if you are eager to understand your limits and improve them, we remind you that with Hyundai it is possible to join the N Driving Experience, a series of packages designed to always offer the best. The experience developed by the team of the Korean brand is designed to learn and entertain at the same time, of course in total safety and while you are behind the wheel of a very sporty Hyundai N. For more information, we suggest you read our in-depth analysis.


The test on the Stelvio Pass is a pleasant confirmation of the dynamic qualities of this Korean “small missile”; Hyundai's engineers have managed to create a solution suitable for any context even if, of course, its favorite playgrounds remain the track or mountain passes. Consumption in this context is "important", but we are sure it will not be a problem in the long term or for the average buyer. While dynamically we have no doubts and perplexities, there are some small aspects that could be improved. In our opinion, some areas of the passenger compartment, especially the doors, appear too "plasticky" and considering the purchase price we would have expected higher quality. The same goes for the rear lights that do not show themselves qualitatively at the height of the front section, embellished with the latest generation of LED lights. As you can imagine, these are almost secondary aspects, which you will forget once you get behind the wheel.

Ultimately, if you want a peppery hot-hatch, we recommend that you try and evaluate the purchase of an i30 N: it might really surprise you.

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