Automotive product engineering is highly complex. Understanding the implications and opportunities of introducing new technology needs to be identified as early as possible in the vehicle design process. This will deliver right first time designs, maximize integration opportunities resulting in efficient and effective competitive holistic design solutions Integrating new technology into existing vehicle architectures with a lateral thinking framework encourages innovative mind-set, this opens the opportunity to identify greater overall product deliverables, new architectural constructs and the development of intellectual property (IP). A structured approach to cascade functions, requirements, constraints (legal and legislative) and target values is required, these attributes form the basis of an engineering problem for engineers to solve. There is a necessity to cascade from vehicle level to component (or supplier subsystem), reconciling all requirements and developing verification plans at each level for all the functions and interfaces. Starting at the technology or sub-system level will preclude and restrain the opportunity for engineers to invent, discover and deliver new design solutions. It is necessary to trace back to vehicle attributes to confirm the technology delivers the desired output. This enables engineers to consider all vehicle attributes and how their subsystem can enhance other vehicle systems. This paper describes a case study using Function Analysis within a systems engineering framework applied to the design and integration of a 48V mild hybrid system (mHEV) for a diesel powertrain. The key deliverables were to improve fuel economy (C02 reduction) through improved stop/start and recuperation of kinetic energy during vehicle deceleration events. This case study also illustrates vertical integration of mHEV system functions to vehicle attributes. Further it supports a practical approach to the specific development of new innovative ideas using lateral thinking. It also shows the reliance on systems engineering within a multidisciplinary system concept design environment. This process will expedite model based system engineering.