P90138100There is despair in the air, in Nevada. Soon-to-be Evo’s Dan Prosser and I are more than happily settled into the snug but not unspacious cabin of BMW’s new M235i, but the roads aren’t doing us any favours.

Stereotypical of the USA, we’ve got nothing but straight lines showing on the satnav. Single carriageway, lots of trucks, no corners.

Because American distances are so vast, and the BMW nav seems to not want me to go a-roaming round the map screen (Dan’s currently driving), we’re having trouble locating any likely solutions to this on-rushing tedium. Which is a shame, given the 326hp twin-turbo straight-six up front has a pretty solid rapport with the rear axle, and the chassis here has been breathed on by those fun time guys from M Division. About which we are presently learning nothing.

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A desperate resort to a street name half-remembered from some random internet searching before we left the Las Vegas Motor Speedway doesn’t help us, either. This ‘road’ turns out to be a gravel track leading off into the foothills of the nearby mountains.

But then, just as we’re really starting to regret not heading to the Vegas strip as BMW had originally planned, we strike automotive gold dust in the form of State Road 168.

Nevada SR168 links Highway 93 with Interstate 15, and looks nothing special on your typical mapping software. But out there, in the wild, it is awesome – winding its way up and down the local geography, it has coarse surfaces, off-camber turns, great sighting lines, and best of all, it’s totally deserted.

Save for one hardy loner pushing pedals on his road bike. Who must have wondered what on earth the two fools in the fancy red (and rather loud) European compact were doing.

If he’d have asked, we’d have answered: making up for lost time, and loving every hydrocarbon-rinsing second of it.

Read CJ’s BMW M235i First Drive on MSN Cars