The paper examines how the issue of lengthy development times can be mitigated by adopting a multivariable physics based control method for the development and deployment of complex engine control algorithms required for modern diesel engines equipped with Lean NOx Trap aftertreatment technology. The proposed approach facilitates manufacturers to consider lower cost powertrain configurations for selected markets while maintaining higher performance configurations for other markets. The contribution includes on-engine results from joint work between General Motors and Honeywell. The Honeywell OnRAMP Design Suite which applies model predictive control techniques was used for model identification, control design (using model predictive control) and its calibration. With no prior work on the engine this process of calibrating an engine model and achieving transient drive cycle control on the engine required ten days in the test cell and five days of offline work using the OnRAMP software.