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This paper investigates the use of a production control technique known as the Response Surface methodology as a rapid prototyping tool for real time control design. The problem under consideration here is the response of automotive drivetrains to aggressive driver input. The first torsional mode (otherwise known as "shuffle" mode) of automotive drivelines is excited by torque transients and is typically around 2-5 Hz. The effect is particularly severe during step changes from the throttle pedal ("tip in" or "tip out"), manifesting itself as an undesirable low frequency longitudinal acceleration oscillation, leading to driver discomfort. The control of this aspect of "driveability" (the error between expected vehicle response and actual vehicle response to an arbitrary control input) is examined, using feedforward control. The overriding principle to be obtained in this examination is the assessment of electronic throttle control in the context of rapid prototyping. The response surface methodology is adopted to achieve this goal. The potential of the electronic throttle for launch control is analyzed and experimentally verified.