A prototype vehicle (PV) is equipped to test powertrain and active chassis systems with innovative control strategies for safety and energy saving. Additional sensors installed on-board allow the measurement and estimation of new information useful to the vehicle dynamic control. The PV was based on a serial production passenger car with Electronic Stability Control (ESC). Testing activities on Controller Area Network (CAN) and ESC Electronic Control Unit (ECU) are carried out to compare the vehicle dynamic performance obtainable using serial production rather than customized control strategies, while maintaining the same hardware. The PV is also utilized to provide reverse engineering analysis about the implemented control strategy for the ESC working in serial production mode. Furthermore, PV is suitable to be used as a Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing equipment; hence a mathematical model of the serial production passenger car, validated with objective road tests and capable to run in real-time was conceived. This paper explains the adopted methodology to carry out the PV and presents the main results that can be obtained.