The activity described in this paper has been carried out in the framework of a funded project aimed at evaluating the feasibility of a controllable water pump based on an integrated magnetorheological fluid clutch. The advantages consist of an improvement of the overall vehicle performance and efficiency, in the possibility of disengaging the water pump when its action is not required, and in the control of the cooling fluid temperature. So, the design constraints have been defined with reference to the available space, required torque, and electrical power. After an iterative procedure, in which both mechanical design and magnetic field analyses have been considered, the most promising solution has been defined and a first physical prototype has been realized and tested. A preliminary experimental characterization of the developed prototype has been presented.