A single cylinder direct injection gasoline engine has been developed and commissioned on a transient engine test bed in order to study different engine cycles and combustion modes with identical hardware and operating conditions. The engine can be operated in either 4-stroke cycle or 2-stroke cycle by means of an electro-hydraulic camless system. In addition, both spark ignition and controlled autoignition (CAI) combustion can be achieved. In this paper, effects of the injection timing on different CAI combustion modes are investigated, including the residual gas trapping and exhaust gas rebreathing CAI operations in 4-stroke mode, and also 2-stroke CAI operation, with a stoichiometric air fuel ratio and homogeneous charge used throughout. The performance and emission data are presented and analysed as a function of the injection timing. Results show that the charge cooling effect on the intake flow rate is dependent upon the in-cylinder temperature at the time of injection. The piston wetting by the direct fuel injection should be minimized in order to reduce the high HC emissions and further improve the fuel consumption. Fuel injection timing was also found to affect the combustion phasing through the effect of charge cooling and piston wetting.