GM announced that it will make some major changes to the Buick and Cadillac lineups in 2012.

The first major announcement is the XTS luxury sedan, which will replace two cars in the current Cadillac lineup - the DTS and STS sedans.

The other major announcement is the ATS sedan, which aims to take on cars like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. General Motors has pegged its new compact luxury car as a continuation of its 'Cadillac Renaissance'.

The new car will be offered in rear or all wheel drive and is likely to have the same sports inspired ride as the larger CTS sedan.

The XTS is rumored to be much more familiar for long time Cadillac buyers. The ATS and CTS sedans represent the company's push to build sportier cars that attract younger buyers. This can be a big worry for people who buy Cadillacs for their comfortable rides and supple appointments.

While the ATS will be assembled in Michigan, the XTS is to be built out of the country in Cadillac's Ontario plant along side the Buick Regal.

The Regal itself is the source of some more news. GM also announced the pricing on the luxury car's new mild hybrid system. For $2,000 over the price of the normal car, the Regal e-Assist will see an estimated 25 percent increase in fuel economy. The upgrade comes with an electric motor, battery pack and regenerative braking system just like the popular Toyota Prius, only on a smaller scale.

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J. Mark Sternberg is an automotive journalist, car enthusiast and writer with a degree from the University of Arizona. Mark is a devoted Formula 1 fan and also enjoys boating, flying and attending the occasional track day.

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