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The experimental data of a comparative analysis of a spark-ignition system and a nanosecond-discharge-based ignition system in engines are presented. The effectiveness of the ignition systems used was evaluated on fuel consumption and exhaust-gas composition during the road and laboratory tests. It has been discovered that using a plasma-ignition system rather than a spark-ignition system considerably improves engine performance and reduces tailpipe emissions at the same time. The obtained results are analyzed based on the equilibrium calculations of combustion products and on the analytical evaluation of the flame-extinguishing-layer width near the cylinder walls of the combustion chamber.