Fuel consumption reduction and emission reductions in internal combustion engines (ICE) is a hot topic nowadays. An adaption of cylinder de-activation technique called ECONAMIQ over-expansion can be applied to engines to improve fuel efficiency. Using the pressure from the exhaust gas from the active cylinders, the ‘idle’ cylinders could be expanded to extract more work out of the engine during partial load operation. Using the virtual simulation environment GT-Power, this cycle is applied to a 4-cylinder SI engine. This engine model is simulated for a part load operation point and compared with a standard 4-cylinder engine model and 4-cylinder engine model equipped with cylinder de-activation. From these simulations various variables for engine operation (valve timing etc.) are optimized to further reduce fuel consumption of the engine. A final brake specific fuel consumption reduction of over 10% is achieved using the overexpansion cycle, while improving engine performance on two burning cylinders over 10% as well. With this improvement it is shown that the over-expansion cycle has a significant benefit compared to a standard ICE and cylinder de-activation techniques. These simulations are being validated on an engine test dyno using a natural aspirated ICE.