Prototypes available for tests at an early development stage make it possible to reduce the lead-time for introduction of new P/M components for the automotive industry. This is of special importance for parts such as connecting rods, cam lobes and transmission gears etc.Pilot series of prototypes, made of high performing materials, have been warm compacted and evaluated with respect to material properties and robustness.Warm compaction is compared to other manufacturing techniques suited for high performing applications. Aspects of manufacturing and its capabilities are given.Material properties, the shaping ability of warm compaction and the specific demands caused by the operation of the component were taken into consideration at the early stage of design of the prototypes. For the most critical applications, the design of the prototypes has been optimised by Finite Element Analysis.The design procedure for a warm compacted connecting rod for a mass produced passenger car engine is described. Stress analysis carried out for warm compacted and base line (forged and powder forged) con rods are presented. Pilot series of prototypes have been evaluated with respect to dimensions, material properties and mechanical performance.