As future downsized boosted engines may employ multiple combustion modes, the goal of the current work is the definition of valving strategies appropriate for moderate to high load spark ignition (SI) combustion and at low to moderate loads for spark assisted compression ignition (SACI) combustion for an engine with variable valve timing capability and fixed camshaft profiles. The dilution and unburned gas temperature requirements for SACI combustion can be markedly different from those of SI; therefore it is important to ensure that a given valving strategy is appropriate for operation within both regimes. This paper compares one-dimensional (1D) thermodynamic simulations of rated engine operation with positive valve overlap (PVO) and a baseline negative valve overlap (NVO) camshaft design in a boosted automotive engine with variable valve timing capability. Several peak lifts and valve open durations are investigated to guide the down-selection of camshaft profiles for further evaluation under SACI conditions in a companion paper. While the results of this study are engine specific, rated performance predictions show that the duration of both the intake and exhaust camshafts significantly impacts the ability to achieve high load operation. While it was noted that the flow through the exhaust valves chokes for the majority of the exhaust stroke for peak exhaust lifts less than 8 mm, the aggressive engine rating of 194 kW at 5250 rpm could be achieved with peak intake lifts as low as 4 mm and baseline duration. Therefore, camshafts with peak lifts of 8/4 mm exhaust/intake were down-selected to facilitate multimode combustion operation with high levels of PVO. Analysis of high load operation with the down-selected camshafts indicates that peak unburned gas temperatures remain low enough to mitigate end-gas knock, while other variables such as peak cylinder pressure, turbine inlet temperature, and turbocharger speed are all predicted to be within acceptable limits.