This paper investigates theoretically the benefits of the Miller cycle diesel engine with and without low heat rejection on thermodynamic efficiency, brake power, and fuel consumption. It further illustrates the effectiveness of thin thermal barrier coatings to improve the performance of military and commercial IC engines. A simple model which includes a friction model is used to estimate the overall improvement in engine performance. Miller cycle is accomplished by closing the intake valve late and the engine components are coated with PSZ for low heat rejection. A significant improvement in brake power and thermal efficiency are observed.