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High power density applications require special treatment in design optimization. Among the critical questions is how the working torque angle will change through an optimization analysis. We present a new method for computing and using the synchronous reactance that accounts for the torque angle in the midst of complex parameter changes. The challenge is to tally this effect along with the load power factor into a variable metric optimization. Our new technique both computes this reactance under heavy saturation and integrates it into the machine design. The technique also covers appropriate stator current excitation densities in transient and steady-state excitation.