The spray characteristics of a swirl injector for direct-injection spark-ignition (DISI) engines were investigated for the generation of robust and well-atomized swirl spray. A highly-inclined tapered nozzle is applied as a test nozzle and the spray characteristics are compared with conventional nozzle and L-step nozzle. When the taper angle is 70°, an opened hollow cone spray is formed. This spray does not collapse with increasing fuel temperature and back pressure conditions. However, the taper angle should be optimized to avoid forming a locally rich area and to increase the spray volume. The droplet size of 70° tapered nozzle spray shows a value similar to that of the original swirl spray in the horizontal mainstream while it shows an increased value in the vertical mainstream. The deteriorated atomization characteristics of the tapered nozzle spray are improved by applying high fuel temperature injection without causing spray collapse.