Milford Proving Grounds, a General Motors facility, is equipped to do just that.


This video shows a Skid Monster-equipped Impala in the distance, but what you want to see is the Buick Lucerne. Charging hard at a narrow lane – cones on either side – the driver was told to maintain the prescribed speed (35, 40, 45, and then 50mph), then brake hard and get out of the way of those cones which started coming at you really stinking fast all of a sudden. But you didn’t start the braking-into-turning until the instructor said, calmly, “Now.” If you did it too soon, as if trying to predict his call, you failed to trust him as well as the capability of the car.

This test proved a couple of things. Despite the fact that I don’t want you to buy a Buick Lucerne, it’s not because the car is lacking in ability or quality. It’s simply due to more exciting competition. However, the Lucerne proved the merits of ABS (few would doubt those merits these days, hopefully) as well as the directional stability of the car. Plus, dare I say it, the Lucerne’s ability to change direction under hard braking. The back end wouldn’t truly slide. Just a slight skid-hop-skip. Always under control.

An Impala SS was used at similar speeds and then also at 55mph in a test where the task was similar until it came time to turn. Rather than brake hard at the call, we would have to turn right or left sans braking and then regain enough control to brake in front of a row of cones at turn back. And repeat. The Lucerne’s test was left-turn only and more proof of braking than grip.