The composite Li1.231Mn0.615Ni0.154O2 has been prepared by a facile combustion synthesis. X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis, chemical analysis, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning electron microscope were used to characterize the resultant composite and its precursor. The results show that a well-crystallized layered hexagonal structured composite Li1.231MnIV0.615NiII0.154O2 is obtained. The resultant composite serves as a cathode material for lithium ion batteries, and galvanostatic charge/discharge tests and cyclic voltammetry revealed that the composite exhibits excellent electrochemical performance. The as-prepared electrode delivers an average specific energy density as high as 795 W h kg–1 in the range 4.8–2.0 V (vs. Li/Li+) at a constant current density of 20 mA g–1.