Gasoline direct injection has flopped in Europe, leading carmakers to start work on a new generation of GDI engines that are economically feasible.
Buyers have rejected GDI engines because they sell at a premium that takes years to recoup through fuel savings.
'We are in talks with nearly all carmakers on new GDI engines,' said Roland Lismonde, a senior executive in engine management at Robert Bosch.
Bosch's main GDI rivals include Siemens in Germany, Hitachi and Denso in Japan, and Visteon and Delphi in the USA. Along with some independent laboratories, they seek a GDI engine that cuts fuel consumption by at least 20 percent - but matches a conventional gasoline engine on drivability and manufacturing cost.
The current generation of engines improves fuel economy by just 10 percent.
GDI engines have been offered in Europe on several cars since 1999. Versions of the Renault Megane coupe and Laguna II, VW Lupo and Golf, Peugeot 406, Citroen C5 and Volvo S40 1.8i sell in small numbers - typically for a premium of E1,000 or more.
So far, both Renault and PSA are working with Siemens on gasoline direct injection. Mercedes Benz and BMW have not been actively developing the technology. But Lismonde said: 'Whether they acknowledge it or not, they all keep a close eye on GDI development.'