In this paper a new knock control algorithm is developed based on a stochastic interpretation of the knock signal and on a control objective specified as a certain percentage of knocking cycles. Unlike previous ‘stochastic’ knock controllers, the new algorithm does not average or low pass filter the knock intensity signal and the transient response of the controller is consequently much faster. The performance of the new controller is compared in detail with the response of a traditional deterministic controller using a simple but effective knock simulation tool. The results show that the new controller is able to operate at a more advanced mean spark angle and that there is much less cyclic variance about this mean. The transient response to excess knocking events is as fast, or faster, than the conventional controller, though the rate of recovery from overly retarded conditions is slower. These results suggest that the new controller will deliver increased torque and engine efficiency under knock limited conditions.