The single-shaft gas turbine engine has been proposed as a reduced-cost alternate to the previously used two-shaft turbine engine for application to passenger cars. The power output characteristics of the fixed-geometry single-shaft engine have been found to create performance difficulties, particularly with respect to standing-start acceleration of the vehicle. A review of the fundamentals responsible for these difficulties leads to the observation that variable compressor geometry can provide relief from this situation. Use of variable inlet guide vanes is identified as the simplest means of gaining this relief. Design factors influencing the susceptibility of the compressor to control by inlet guide vanes are considered. A method by which inlet guide vanes can be used to improve vehicle acceleration, without penalizing fuel consumption, is illustrated.