Future vehicles are expected to see a significant reduction of curb weight due to the ever increasing demands on fuel consumption and emissions control. Maintaining current payloads, however, will lead to larger axle load variations with respect to the unladen vehicle. This complicates the design of conventional axle systems that have to meet current standards for both driving safety and ride comfort.In this investigation a vehicle has been modeled as a multi-body system with two different extreme curb-weight variations. These variations have then been analyzed with numerical simulation under several loading conditions and with selected driving maneuvers. Furthermore an ideal tire has been designed for the lightweight vehicle and wheel control measures proposed to improve overall system performance.The results demonstrate the limitations of current suspension systems and the advantage of designing a tire particularly for a lightweight vehicle. Current demands on both vehicle dynamic performance are thus met by combining the new tire characteristics with semi-active stiffness modifications of the stabilizer bar.