A method for starting a compression ignition engine having at least one cylinder with a reciprocating piston located therein, an intake valve configured to control the intake of air to an intake port of the cylinder and an exhaust valve configured to control the expulsion of gas from an exhaust port of the cylinder. The method includes the steps of: cranking the engine, conditioning intake air at the intake port of the cylinder to raise the temperature of air in the cylinder, controlling a valve timing the intake valve and/or the exhaust valve to allow the piston to compress the air within the cylinder, thereby increasing the temperature of the air within the cylinder, and injecting fuel into the cylinder when the air within the cylinder has been heated to a temperature sufficient to support compression ignition of a gasoline and air mixture within the cylinder.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-EE0003258 awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.