A method of predicting brake specific fuel consumption characteristics from limited specifications of engine design has been investigated. For spark ignition engines operating on homogeneous mixtures, indicated specific fuel consumption based on gross indicated power is related to compression ratio and spark timing relative to optimum values. The influence of burn rate is approximately accounted for by the differences in spark timings required to correctly phase combustion. Data from engines of contemporary design shows that indicated specific fuel consumption can be defined as a generic function of relative spark timing, mixture air/fuel ratio and exhaust gas recirculation rate. The additional information required to generate brake specific performance maps is cylinder volumetric efficiency, rubbing friction, auxiliary loads, and exhaust back pressure characteristics. A closed set of equations is developed and the method solution presented together with illustrative results showing good agreement between predictions and experimental data. The effects of engine design and calibration settings are investigated.