A novel approach was proposed and investigated to reduce unburned hydrocarbon emissions from spark-ignition engines using in-cylinder catalysts. The unburned hydrocarbons in spark-ignition engines arise primarily from sources near the combustion chamber walls, such as flame quenching at the entrance of crevice volumes and at the combustion chamber wall, and the absorption and desorption of fuel vapour into oil layers on the cylinder wall. The proximity of these sources of unburned hydrocarbons to the wall means that they can be reduced significantly by simply using in-cylinder catalysts on the combustion chamber walls, in particular on the surfaces of the crevice volumes. A platinum-rhodium coating was deposited on the top and side surfaces of the piston crown, and its effects on the engine combustion and emission characteristics were examined in this experimental investigation. The in-cylinder catalyst gave rise to a reduction of exhaust unburned hydrocarbon emissions by approximately 20% over a wide range of operating conditions.