This paper reports on research activities aiming to improve the efficiency of direct injected, hydrogen powered internal combustion engines. In a recent major change in the experimental setup the hydrogen single cylinder research engine at Argonne National Laboratory was upgraded to a new engine geometry providing increased compression ratio and a longer piston stroke compared to its predecessor. The higher compression ratio and the more advantageous volume to surface ratio of the combustion chamber are both intended to improve the overall efficiency of the experimental setup. Additionally, a new series of faster acting, piezo-activated injectors is used with the new engine providing increased flexibility for the optimization of DI injection strategies. This study focuses on the comparison of experimental data of the baseline versus the improved single cylinder research engine for similar engine operating conditions.