The development of several automotive engines has been examined from a historical perspective, and important common technology and business-related factors affecting the successful development and introduction of a new technology into the marketplace have been identified. This paper is primarily targeted toward research planners and managers rather than design engineers and technology specialists. It, thus, focuses more on strategic aspects of research planning and ways of achieving successful market introduction than on in-depth analyses of cost/performance parameters. Eight specific engines are selected to cover a wide range of sizes, operating cycles, and successes/failures in the marketplace. Both currently available engines and those not yet commercialized have been included. Using the insights gained through an examination of automotive engine development histories, the paper provides a means to analyze similar technology's progress from concept to commerce via “experience curves.” Finally, the impact of external forces on the development of advanced powerplants for automobiles is also addressed.