A global, systems-level model which characterizes the thermal behavior of internal combustion engines is described in this paper. Based on resistor-capacitor thermal networks, either steady-state or transient thermal simulations can be performed. A two-zone, quasi-dimensional spark-ignition engine simulation is used to determine in-cylinder gas temperature and convection coefficients. Engine heat fluxes and component temperatures can subsequently be predicted from specification of general engine dimensions, materials, and operating conditions. Emphasis has been placed on minimizing the number of model inputs and keeping them as simple as possible to make the model practical and useful as an early design tool. The success of the global model depends on properly scaling the general engine inputs to accurately model engine heat flow paths across families of engine designs. The development and validation of suitable, scalable submodels is described in detail in this paper. Simulation sub-models and overall system predictions are validated with data from two spark ignition engines. Several sensitivity studies are performed to determine the most significant heat transfer paths within the engine and exhaust system. Overall, it has been shown that the model is a powerful tool in predicting steady-state heat rejection and component temperatures, as well as transient component temperatures.