The Car-in-the-Loop test bench is an extension of today's experimental set-ups for vehicle development. It is modularized, has the capability of automated system identification for control strategy adaptation and couples with virtual vehicle prototype in closed-loop. By this means, it enables a quick make-ready time, can be easily integrated into the model-based development process. One of its main application is to test the function and interaction of various mechatronic systems in longitudinal, lateral and vertical freedom degrees on complete vehicle level under realistic driving situations. Thereby it provides a method for the front-loading of the development work (e.g. most part of the calibration) from vehicle to earlier development phases. The Car-in-the-Loop concept is attractive especially when simultaneous engineering is required to shorten the development cycle time.