The electromechanical valve train (EMV) technology allows for a reduction in fuel consumption while operating under a stoichiometric air-fuel ratio and preserves the ability to use conventional exhaust gas aftertreatment technology with a 3-way catalyst. Compared with an engine with a camshaft-driven valve train, the variable valve timing concept makes possible an additional optimization of cold start, warm-up and transient operation. In contrast with the conventionally throttled engine, optimized control of load and in-cylinder gas movement can be used for each individual cylinder and engine cycle. A load control strategy using a "Late Intake Valve Open" (LIO) provides a reduction in start-up HC emissions of approximately 60%. Due to reduced wall-wetting, the LIO control strategy improves the transition from start to idle. "Late Exhaust Valve Open" (LEO) timing during the exhaust stroke leads to exhaust gas afterburning and, thereby, results in high exhaust gas temperatures and low HC emissions. Vehicle investigations have demonstrated an improved accuracy of the air-fuel ratio during transient operation. Results in the New European Driving Cycle have confirmed a reduction in fuel consumption of more than 15% while meeting EURO IV emission limits.