Ford Motor Company has recently implemented a Hardware-In-the-Loop (HIL) testing system for a new, highly complex, hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) Electronic Control Unit (ECU). The implementation of this HIL system has been quick and effective, since it is based on proven Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) automation tools for real-time that allow for a very flexible and intuitive design process. An overview of the HIL system implementation process and the derived development benefits will be shown in this paper. The initial concept for the use of this HIL system was a complete closed-loop vehicle simulation environment for Vehicle System Controller testing, but the paper will show that this concept has evolved to allow for the use of the HIL system for many facets of the design process. Finally, the paper will demonstrate the benefits that have been achieved by using multiple HIL validation systems, to coordinate development with suppliers using the model-driven process, and to simulate conditions for testing that are difficult to achieve in actual vehicles.