New gasoline engine design is highly influenced by CO2 and emission limits defined by legislations, the demand for real-conditions fuel economy, higher torque, higher specific power and lower costs. Downsizing concepts, including turbocharging in combination with direct injection, have contributed significantly to the recent improvement of gasoline engines. However, other technologies are under evaluation to allow further steps of enhancement for the even more challenging requirements. The main issues of gasoline engines in terms of efficiency and performance are knocking, part-load losses, and thermal stress at high power conditions. This work presents a comparison at concept level between the main technologies that are currently being developed, considering not only the technical benefits, but also their cost-effectiveness. The analysis is carried out on the basis of studies from technical literature, integrating missing data by means of evaluations performed with engine-vehicle simplified models.