It appears that in this day and age you can predict mathematically the performance of the car, the tyre, the aero and the vehicle handling characteristics.
3D Digitizing process and it’s applications in the automotive industry
Dimensions – a laser scanner is used to create three-dimensional images of details to be optimized. (Source: Audi AG)
Virtual model of typical truck tractor
Model of load frame and weights used to represent trailer
Scania engineers use virtual models of truck components to test specific systems. Engineers are applying a load, in the form of weights, on a model of a trailer frame to simulate how the frame design will perform.
Source: MSC Software