Automotive lightweight design is a considerable measure to meet the worldwide need for reducing CO2 emissions. However, the lightweight potential of common materials like steel, aluminum or even fiber-reinforcement plastics is limited. High strength steels play a significant role in the design of safe and light car body structures. Nevertheless, the high density and buckling problems related to reduced sheet thicknesses limits the achievable mass reduction. Aluminum alloys are well known for the potential to improve the strength to weight ratio of car bodies. Nonetheless, in terms of stiffness aluminum has a clear disadvantage due to a relative low Young’s modulus. Even FRP components, which have superior lightweight characteristics, show limitations for the car body design, as catastrophic failure or high production costs. To account for these limitations, a novel numerical approach is developed to identify hybrid materials with tailored over-thickness properties and improved specific mechanical characteristics consisting of layers with different materials. Starting with full vehicle crash and NVH simulations critical car body components are determined by an internal energy based method. The identified components, a crash and a stiffness relevant part, are subdivided into at least five layers. In the first optimization loop, the algorithm can freely parametrize the material parameters for each single layer. Once an optimum was found, the still idealized material properties of each layer are compared with a material database to select a concrete pendant. Afterwards, further optimization loops with real materials and manufacturing restrictions are carried out. Finally, the tailored hybrid stacks are validated in full vehicle simulations. It could be shown that the optimization-based approach allows a weight reduction of approximately 25% for each part while maintaining or even increasing the BIW properties.