Understanding mixture formation phenomena during the first few cycles of an engine cold start is extremely important for achieving the minimum engine-out emission levels at the time when the catalytic converter is not yet operational. Of special importance is the structure of the charge (film, droplets and vapour) which enters the cylinder during this time interval as well as its concentration profile. However, direct experimental studies of the fuel behaviour in the inlet port have so far been less than fully successful due to the brevity of the process and lack of a suitable experimental technique.We present measurements of the hydrocarbon (HC) concentration in the manifold and port of a production SI engine using the Fast Response Flame Ionisation Detector (FRFID). It has been widely reported in the past few years how the FRFID can be used to study the exhaust and in-cylinder HC concentrations with a time resolution of a few degrees of crank angle, and the device has contributed significantly to the understanding of unburned HC emissions. Using the FRFID in the inlet manifold is difficult because of the presence of liquid droplets, and the low and fluctuating pressure levels, which leads to significant changes in the response time of the instrument. However, using recently developed procedures to correct for the errors caused by these effects, the concentration at the sampling point can be reconstructed to align the FRFID signal with actual events in the engine.