This paper describes an experimental investigation to explore and optimise the performance, economy and emissions of a direct injection gasoline engine. Building on previous experimental direct injection investigations at Ricardo, a single cylinder engine has been designed to accommodate common rail electronically controlled fuel injection equipment together with appropriate port configuration and combustion chamber geometry. Experimental data is presented on the effects of chamber geometry, charge motion and fuel injection characteristics on octane requirement, lean limit, fuel consumption and exhaust emissions at typical automotive engine operating conditions. The configuration is shown to achieve stable combustion at air/fuel ratios in excess of 50:1 enabling unthrottled operation over a wide operating range. Strategies are demonstrated to control engine out emissions to levels approaching conventional port injected gasoline engines. Overall operating strategies and alternative exhaust aftertreatment approaches are demonstrated with the potential to meet future automotive emissions requirements.