In-cylinder combustion visualization and engine-out soot particle emissions were investigated in an optical diesel engine fueled with low octane gasoline. Single injection strategy with an early injection timing (−30 CAD aTDC) was employed to achieve partially premixed combustion (PPC) condition. A high-speed color camera was used to record the combustion images for 150 cycles. The regulated emission of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and soot mass concentration were measured experimentally. Full cycle engine simulations were performed using CONVERGE™ and the simulation results matched with the experimental results. The in-cylinder soot particle evolution was performed by coupling a reduced toluene reference fuel mechanism including the PAHs formation/oxidation reactions with particulate size mimic model. The results showed that PPC presents typical stratified combustion characteristics, which is significantly different from the conventional diesel spray-driven combustion. The in-cylinder temperature and equivalence ratio overlaid with soot-NO formation regime revealed that PPC operating condition under study mostly avoided the main sooting conditions throughout the entire combustion. The evaluation of temperature distribution showed formaldehyde could be regarded as an indicator for low temperature reactions, while hydroxyl group represents the high temperature reactions. Soot evolution happened during the combustion process, hydroxyl radicals promoted the soot oxidation.