Presented in this paper is a nonlinear modeling and a controller design methodology for engine control. For illustrative purposes, the methodology is applied to the idle speed of a Ford 4.6L-2 valve V-8 fuel injected engine. The nonlinear model of the engine is based on a Hammerstein type model which is identified through input-output data without a priori knowledge of the engine dynamics. The nonlinear model is subsequently used in a frequency domain controller design methodology to achieve the performance goal of maintaining the engine idle speed within a prespecified asymmetric output tolerance despite external torque disturbances. An experimental verification of the proposed control law is included.