To meet the demand for greater fuel efficiency in passenger vehicles, various strategies are employed to increase the power density of light-duty SI engines, with attendant thermal or system efficiency increases. One approach is to incorporate higher-performance alloys for critical engine components. These alloys can have advantageous thermal or mechanical properties at higher temperatures, allowing for components constructed from these materials to meet more severe pressure and temperature demands, while maintaining durability. Advanced alloys could reduce the need for charge enrichment to protect certain gas-path components at high speed and load conditions, permit more selective cooling to reduce heat-transfer losses, and allow engine downsizing, while maintaining performance, by achieving higher cylinder temperatures and pressures. As a first step in investigating downsizing strategies made possible through high-performance alloys, a GT-Power model of a 4-cylinder 1.6L turbocharged direct-injection SI engine was developed. The model was tuned and validated against experimental dynamometer data collected from a corresponding engine. The model was then used to investigate various operating strategies for increasing power density. Results from these investigations will provide valuable insight into how new materials might be utilized to meet the needs of future light-duty engines and will serve as the basis for a more comprehensive investigation using more-detailed thermo-mechanical modeling.