Advanced combustion strategies for direct injection gasoline engines require high performance fuel injectors. They must perform precise fuel metering, enhanced linear flow range and multi-pulse injection cycles in order to meet tight emission limits and low fuel consumption. Cold start is the most critical phase concerning emission levels. The performance of outwardly opening piezo-electric actuated fuel injectors is compared with conventional inwardly opening solenoid injectors. The investigation focuses on dosing performance, temperature influence and the impact of production tolerances. Besides full valve needle lift, both types of injectors are also analyzed in ballistic operating mode for minimum injection quantities. Compared to piezo injectors solenoid injectors show a much larger tolerance band at low fuel quantities. A new sensorless closed-loop control system results in substantial improvement of the dosing performance of solenoid injectors. Information about the valve needle motion is gathered from the electrical injector signals in the electronic control unit by utilizing the solenoid injector itself as a sensor. By this approach, standard cost effective solenoid injectors equal or even exceed the performance of piezo injectors.