Lean, tilt, lurch, sway - usually, we can reckon on body roll being the enemy of good handling. It allows the car’s bodywork too much unsettling inertia of its own, it shift’s the car’s weight in an unhelpful direction and for those sitting inside, shifts theirs about in much the same way.
It’s why racing cars barely roll at all, and why road car suspension engineers are locked in perpetual battle with the compromise between supple ride and teeter-free handling.
But, body-roll doesn’t always kill your enjoyment of a car, as I was reminded while punting a Peugeot 108 through a sequence of switchbacking bends yesterday.
Get your speed and positioning right, and you easily cajole this Peugeot into a gently rhythmic sway, the flattening tilt of its exit from one bend flowing smoothly into the tilt of the next if it’s heading the other way. And this can be quite a pleasant sensation if there isn’t too much of it, and aboard the 108, whose dampers make a decent job of controlling this city car’s body, it proves to be exactly that.
Body roll is at least as much a messaging system as steering feel and the sensation of sideways forces on your torso, the gentle tilt of windscreen against horizon a measure of how ambitious - or foolish - you’re being. Remembering drives in a couple of cars with no roll - or close to it - suspension is a reminder of the importance of body roll as a signal, too.