This study aims to build a conceptual simulation used at the early stage of PHEV development. This simulation enables to design vehicle concept and fundamental architecture with regard to fuel economy, vehicle acceleration and electric range. The model based on forward-looking method comprises of plant-model and controller-model which are made by one-dimensional simulation tool “GT-SUITE” and Matlab/SIMULINK respectively. In order to automatically couple between them and to implement iterative calculations of SOC (State-of-Charge) convergence, optimization and automation tool “modeFRONTIER” was used. As a case study of this simulation, we adopted series-parallel type plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and demonstrated the results on fuel economy of a legislative driving cycle and 0-60mph vehicle acceleration. Moreover, procedures to identify component specifications meeting vehicle targets and requirements at the early stage of vehicle development were concretely described. In conclusion, through a case study of specific PHEV, it was demonstrated that this methodology contributes to design vehicle concept and to define system and component specifications.