The starter/alternator technology is considered an easily realizable hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) configuration to achieve significant fuel economy without compromising consumer acceptability. Several examples can be found in production or near-production vehicles, with implementation based on a spark ignition (SI) engine coupled with either a belted starter/alternator (BSA) or an integrated starter/alternator (ISA). One of the many challenges in successfully developing a starter/alternator HEV is to achieve engine start and stop operations with minimum passenger discomfort. This requires control of the electric motor to start and stop the engine quickly and smoothly, without compromising the vehicle noise, vibration, and harshness signature. The issue becomes more critical in the case of diesel hybrids, as the peak compression torque is much larger than in SI engines. This paper documents the results of a research activity focused on the control of the start and stop dynamics of a HEV with a belted starter/alternator. The work was conducted on a production 1.9 l common-rail diesel engine coupled to a 10.6 kW permanent magnet motor. The system is part of a series/parallel HEV powertrain, designed to fit a midsize prototype sport utility vehicle. A preliminary experimental investigation was done to assess the feasibility of the concept and to partially characterize the system. This facilitated the design of a control-oriented nonlinear model of the system dynamics and its validation on the complete HEV hardware. Model-based control techniques were then applied to design a controller for the belted starter/alternator, ensuring quick and smooth engine start operations. The final control design has been implemented on the vehicle. The research outcomes demonstrated that the BSA is effective in starting the diesel engine quickly and with very limited vibration and noise.