This paper reviews the major changes that have occurred in spark-ignition engine design and operation over the last two decades. The automobile air pollution problem, automobile emission standards, and automobile fuel economy standards -- the factors which have and are producing these changes -- are briefly described. The major components in spark-ignition engine emission control systems are outlined, and advances in carburetion, fuel injection, ignition systems, spark retard and exhaust gas recycle strategies, and catalytic converters, are reviewed. The impact of these emission controls on vehicle fuel economy is assessed. The potential for fuel economy improvements in conventional spark-ignition engines is examined, and promising developments in improved engine and vehicle matching are outlined. Finally, the operating characteristics of alternative spark-ignition engines - the Wankel and several stratified charge engines -- which are competing with the conventional engine, are briefly discussed.