By Hilton Holloway and Joshua Dowling
The Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday April 7 2004
Saab has built a full-sized model of a potential new flagship based on the 2006 Commodore.
Holden could play a pivotal role in saving its struggling General Motors stablemate, the Swedish brand Saab.
The Australian brand, which clawed itself out of the doldrums and near-bankruptcy in the early 1980s, is now a crucial supplier of large-car expertise to the GM empire.
According to a highly placed source, Saab's design team has completed a new, large sedan based on the 2006 Commodore underpinnings. Internally, the vehicle is dubbed 9-6, indicating that the car is larger than the ageing 9-5 and could be a new flagship model.
It is widely accepted within GM that Saab can no longer build big, powerful executive cars on front-drive platforms.
The 9-5's front-drive layout has reached its power and performance limits. Increasing power outputs oblige makers to use rear- or all-wheel-drive.