This paper describes the application of a new type of non‐linear 3D finite element tire model for simulating tire spindle force and moment response during side slip. The simulation model, briefly described in the paper, is composed of shell elements, which model the tread deformation, coupled to special purpose finite elements that model the deformation of the sidewall and contact between the tread and the ground. The sidewall special purpose element uses a pre‐computed look‐up table to efficiently calculate the sidewall shape and the forces acting on the tread. The model is designed to predict the forces at the spindle and ground and the overall tire shape, as opposed to the internal stress fields. This paper considers the following deformation scenarios: 1) a vertically loaded tire deforming laterally on a flat surface and 2) a tire rolling straight ahead under a prescribed sideslip angle. Experimental data is also presented to verify the force predictions.