Internal combustion engines continue to grow more complex every day out of necessity. Legislation and increasing customer demand means that advanced technologies like variable valve actuation (VVA), multi-path exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), advanced boosting, and aftertreatment systems continue to drive ever-expanding requirements for engine control to improve performance, fuel economy, and reduce emissions. Therefore, controller development and implementation are becoming more costly, both in terms of time and the monetary investment in engine hardware.To help reduce these costs, a sophisticated tool chain has been created which allows a real-time, physical, crank-angle resolved one-dimensional (1D) engine model to be implemented on a rapid prototyping engine control unit (ECU) which is then used in the control strategy of a running engine. Model-based controllers have been developed and validated to perform as well as or better than controllers using traditional sensors. The tool chain is described, from detailed engine model development to real-time implementation, to controller design and compiling. The rapid prototyping ECU is described along with the test engine/process and the validation of the model-based controllers is shown. Advantages of this approach, in terms of time and cost of manufacturing are discussed, along with next steps/further work required.