This paper describes the preliminary stages in the design of a low emission, multi-cylinder two-stroke engine for application in a luxury passenger car. A crankshaft driven compressor is used to provide scavenge air, exhaust timing edge valves are specified and also a valve able to disable transfer ports. Fuelling is provided by injection directly into the cylinder head.Rationale is given for the choice of the engine configuration, the scavenge system used and the definition of key features. A parametric investigation, performed by gas dynamic simulation, is presented illustrating the influence on the engine of: compressor speed ratio, exhaust manifold branch lengths, exhaust pipe lengths, and transfer and exhaust port timings. Finally, details are given of the design of the cylinder block, the exhaust valve and the intake valve.