An ethanol fuelled multi-spark assisted diesel engine (SADE) is developed. The combustion study is presented. The performance parameters are compared with the conventional, moderately turbocharged and single spark-assisted diesel version. The results obtained shows SADE using a multispark ignition system at high loads to be superior in combustion characteristics to the conventional and turbocharged versions in brake thermal efficiency, brake power and brake mean effective pressure, lower maximum cylinder pressure and maximum rate of cylinder pressure rise. The engine burns lean at all operational limits and does not require throttling of the inlet. It does not smoke and the overall performance makes it available for SI and CI fuels.