A new stratified charge combustion system has been developed for direct injection gasoline engines. The special feature of this system is employment of a thin fan-shaped fuel spray formed by a slit nozzle. The stratified mixture is produced by the combination of this fan-spray and a shell-shaped piston cavity. Both under-mixing and over-mixing of fuel in the stratified mixture is reduced by this system. This combustion system does not require distinct charge motion such as tumble or swirl, which enables intake port geometry to be simplified to improve full load performance. The effects of the new system on engine performance at part load are improved fuel consumption and reduced smoke, CO and HC emissions, obviously at medium load and medium engine speed. HC emissions at light load are also improved even with high EGR conditions.