A week earlier, the group had driven the 2018 Buick Enclave with all of its final calibrations complete.
"It's really exciting -- how quiet it is and how fluid it is," Reuss said. "To drive it against the competition, that's highly satisfying."
Reuss, 53, had little choice but to love fast cars. His father, Lloyd, whose 35-year career at GM included stints as the chief engineer for Buick and Chevrolet and culminated with an unexpectedly brief tenure as company president, took him to countless races. They sat overlooking Turn One at the Indianapolis 500 each year.
"Seeing that much horsepower coming down the front straight and into the first turn of Indy," Reuss recalled, "the hair on the back of your neck stands up, and I was hooked -- big time."
Reuss' first car was a 1967 Camaro. His uncle, then a Chevrolet dealer in St. Louis, found the car. Reuss bought it there for $1,300 and brought it back to Michigan to fix up.
"I restored probably 15 to 20 cars here and kept moving up until I could afford a Corvette," said Reuss, whom GM hired as a mechanical engineering intern in 1983.
During the interview, a cold rain slicked the pavement outside the GM shuttle bus where Reuss sat. He seemed to pay little notice after stepping out to examine the Camaro GT4.R race car he had come to try out on the Milford Road Course, a winding 2.8-mile validation circuit prized for its incorporation of signature features from famed tracks elsewhere in the world.