The trends in the development of spark ignition engines leads to the adoption of lean mixtures in the combustion chamber. Torch ignition systems have potential to reduce simultaneously the NOx and CO emissions, while keeping the fuel conversion efficiency at a high level. This study aims to design and analyze a torch ignition system running with ethanol on lean homogeneous charge, adapted to an Otto cycle single-cylinder engine with optical visualization. The main objective is to achieve combustion stability under lean burn operation and to expand the flammability limit for increasing engine efficiency by means of redesigning the ignition system adapting a pre-chamber to the main combustion chamber. Experiments were conducted at constant speed (1000 rpm) using ethanol (E100) as fuel, for a wide range of injection, ignition and mixture formation parameters. Specific fuel consumption and combustion stability were evaluated at each excess air ratio. Optical visualization illustrated the port fuel spray behavior, torch jet and flame propagation. Engine efficiency achieved an improvement of 4.3% with the torch ignition system.