Powertrain configurations described with elementary (physical) levers can intuitively depict the connections between planetary gear (PG) shafts and powertrain components. However, finding optimal compound-split hybrid configurations using the elementary lever is practically impossible due to the large design space. In fact, each of the existing 252 compound-split configurations has three design variables: two PG gear ratios and a final drive gear ratio. In this paper, a compound (virtual) lever-based design methodology that eliminates redundant elementary lever designs is proposed to enable a full compound-split hybrid electric vehicles design domain search. The performance metrics were assessed in the compound lever design space. Later, the designs were converted back to elementary lever configurations by applying a design space conversion map, and their performance metrics were plotted on a fuel economy versus acceleration performance plane to compare the potential of the 252 compound-split configurations. Finally, an optimal configuration that can reach 0-160 kph in 15.36 sec, which is 5.90 sec faster than that of the Prius configuration, while maintaining a competitive fuel economy, was selected. The proposed method revealed that there are still many configurations that are potentially better than the commercially available split hybrids.