The Essence of B-ing – BMW M2

We’ve found the UK’s twistiest B-road. Time to deploy the UK’s most suitable car


Best B-road Hero – BMW M2

Pick a B-road. Any B-road. It doesn’t really matter. You could throw all the numbers into a hat and select at random. You could add some science: the longest, the B6318, runs for 61 miles; the most northerly is the B9087, which is up in the Shetlands. Then there’s the B660. In places it’s only five feet four inches above sea level and it’s miles away from the coast.

There are 18,800 miles of B-roads in the UK, and I guarantee the BMW M2 is fun on every single one of them. I’ve got the B3081, which probably sounds to you as though I’ve lucky-dipped, but a few years ago this was named Britain’s twistiest road. That’s a bit misleading, because for most of its 42 miles waggling south-east from Shepton Mallet to a final headbutt into the A31 near Ringwood, it’s perfectly ordinary. Magnificently ordinary, as only a rural British B-road can be.

However, a mile south of Shaftesbury it gets itself into a proper tizzy. This is Zig Zag Hill. You can guess what the road does here. It zigs and it zags, it whips back and forth, it snatches and bucks and jolts. And at the top it opens up, calms down and delivers you a stunning view of Dorset as if nothing had just happened. Tranquility restored, I shake myself like a man just roused from a “what the hell…?” moment.

bmw-m2-2The BMW doesn’t take anything like as long to recompose itself. Because it can’t be caught out on a B-road. It can be caught out in other places, but not on a B-road. Oh, I’m sure BMW claims it’s an all-rounder and I’m equally sure you’d drive yours on every type of road and have a ball. But take it from me, BMW has specifically targeted this car. On motorways there’s a bit of vertical bobbing and those fat tyres slap at cat’s eyes. In town, the clutch bites high and those fat tyres clout speed bumps.

But on B-roads, you’re driving, aren’t you? And the BMW M2 is good at that. There’s an honesty and openness to its behaviour that’s both refreshing and alluring. Clarity of purpose… that’s the key. Sure, you could have a snipe and say the single-turbo straight-six isn’t as feisty and fast to respond as the twin-turbo in the M3, that the steering isn’t that dainty, or the chassis isn’t as intricately balanced as a Cayman’s. But it’s a shovel load of fun.

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