A three cylinder two-stroke cycle diesel engine is proposed for automotive use. The engine is of the simple loop or cross-scavenging type with a crosshead seal and under piston scavenging pump. This paper records the initial investigations of this concept using a purpose built single cylinder engine. Results from different combustion systems are presented together with tests with the same engine when using an external air supply. Measurements from a parallel investigation using a laser doppler anemometer to measure air swirl motion within one of the chambers are also presented.