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State of the art design tools in automotive engineering still lack the power, sophistication, and automation of design tools that are used in the electronics industry. Widely accepted automotive powertrain design tools such as PSAT and ADVISOR still rely on manual manipulation of the design parameters for optimization. This paper presents a new methodology that merges model-based design, knowledge-based engineering, and physics-based modeling to realize large-scale design optimization. The extensible domain-specific design environment is capable of rapidly assimilating new knowledge from experts and design database. Further, it can be used to automate the management of design knowledge in a customizable manner. Introducing a design process that can handle the complexity of millions of competing constraints in an automated way will allow automotive manufacturers to reduce design time considerably.