A zero-dimensional, three-zone model is developed in order to study the gas thermodynamic characteristics and its relation to knock in SI engines. The first zone is the zone behind the flame front, i.e. the burned gas products. The second zone is the unburned gas ahead of the flame front. The end gas adjacent to the wall, in the boundary layer, is not included in the second zone but it is treated as a separate zone, i.e. the third zone. A detailed analysis of the gas thermodynamic state, including heat transfer analysis between the zones and the walls and mass transfer analysis between the zones combined with a detailed chemical kinetic mechanism in each zone have been performed. The effects of piston movement, flame propagation and transient behavior of the thermal boundary layer are modeled. A sudden rise of pressure and temperature and associated heat release in the end gas are calculated if autoignition occurs. In addition the effects of the thermal boundary layer thickness on the temperature profiles in these three zones are studied. Three empirical equations for determining flame front velocity, convective heat transfer coefficient and the thickness of the boundary layer are used. The calculated results from this model are compared to experimental results from rotational CARS measurements.