The unique properties and manufacturing characteristics of Fiber Reinforced Plastics are exploited in the innovative design of a Twist Rear Axle for the Volkswagen Auto 2000 vehicle. The strength, stiffness, cost and packaging requirements can be met only through the use of oriented glass fiber material. The design is practical for mass production within a ten year timeframe. Considerable emphasis is placed on the role of Finite Element Analysis in achieving these results. The finished part achieved a 53% mass reduction at a 56% cost increase. The prototype verified the durability predictions of the finite element analysis.