Ferrari 12 Cilindri
Guides 21 May 2024

Continuing With Combustion

With so much talk about electric cars recently it almost seems a bit of a surprise when a manufacturer’s latest release is not mentioning a vehicle that is fully electric powered, or at least heavily influenced by a hybrid motor set up. The combustion engine deadline may still be set to 2035 for now, but with the apparent drop in demand for electric cars and many brands deciding to postpone or delay certain timescales of their own, many are ploughing on with their combustion engine plans.

Whether this is a last-minute attempt to appeal to those reluctant to make the switch, or a genuine refusal to give up on the petrol engine until they are forced to (or it gets pushed back again) remains to be seen, but for now it means those who enjoy the sound and experience that a combustion engine brings can enjoy it for a bit longer. In fact, for the first third of 2024, Oracle Finance customers appear to be very reluctant to make the switch to electric only power, with 90% of cars funded so far this year being petrol powered.

So which manufacturers are the ones bucking the trend and continuing to develop their latest cars with not just a combustion engine, but with no excuses, no effort to minimise emissions or reduce engine capacity, and happy to give people exactly what they love about the combustion engine. Here are just 10 newly announced cars that are continuing to pave the way for combustion engine motoring:

Ferrari 12 Cilindri

Ferrari are so intent on making the combustion engine last as long as it possibly can that they have named their latest model specifically after the engine. And what an engine it is. With a naturally aspirated 6.5-litre 12-cylinder engine that produces 820bhp, the 12 Cilindri (or Dodici Cilindri as it is pronounced) is the latest in Ferrari’s signature powerful V12 GT cars. The exterior styling offers design cues from the legendary 365 GTB/4 Daytona and inside the technology and design is heavily influenced by the Purosangue, not the worst influences to have that’s for sure.

Ferrari 12 Cilindri
Image courtesy of Ferrari

When it’s predecessor, the 812 Superfast was launched, it was thought it would be the last of the breed and the last naturally aspirated V12 before it became turbocharged or even hybrid assisted. Then they kept it going with the 812 GTS, then the Competizione. Now the 12 Cilindri has been announced, which again is thought to be the last with an old school 12-cylinder engine, but you wouldn’t bet against Ferrari keeping it going for yet another model. If this is the last classic V12 grand tourer from the prancing horse then what a way to go, but the way things are going they might just have a few more up their stylish sleeves.

Rolls Royce Cullinan

The Rolls Royce Cullinan has been on sale for the best part of 7 years now, and in that time it has provided us with the ultimate in SUV luxury and refinement from one of the most iconic names in the business. With Rolls Royce themselves adding even more (or less in terms of noise) to the experience, with the recent addition of electric power to their flagship coupe Spectre model, you would expect the revised SUV to follow the same path. But that hasn’t been the case at all.

Rolls Royce Cullinan II
Image courtesy of Rolls Royce

An electric version may arrive at some point in the future, or perhaps not until the model is completely overhauled, but for now the latest Cullinan sticks with a 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V12. Though it features a mildly redesigned front and rear, an overhauled interior, a wealth of sumptuous options to make your Cullinan even more grand and up to date technology in abundance, the engine remains as electrically unassisted as it always has been. Proof that even though competition such as the top of the range Range Rover EV is just around the corner, Rolls Royce continue with tradition and familiarity for as long as they can.

Aston Martin Vantage

When Aston Martin announced their latest Vantage they took a lot of people by surprise with how much more it offered. Following on from the recently launched DB12, the interior saw a much needed complete overhaul and ditched the ageing Mercedes equipment for bespoke Aston Martin technology. But that wasn’t where the biggest change has been. The previous model, although powered by a growling 4.0-litre bi-turbo AMG V8, was more comfortable sports car than performance supercar. The new version however is taking things a lot more seriously.

Aston Martin Vantage
Image courtesy of Aston Martin

You would expect a bit more power from a newer model, however Aston Martin have been able to fettle with the AMG powerplant a bit more and as a result, the new Vantage now offers 656bhp, that’s 30% more than before. Bigger turbochargers, new camshafts and 50% more efficient cooling combine with all-new suspension, revised mapping, a recalibrated differential and stronger steering mounts to make sure the latest Vantage can really mix it with the very best. If this is the last generation of combustion engine Vantage, talk about going out with a bang.

Bugatti Bolide

If Aston Martin are showing what adding more power can do to performance, Bugatti are showing what less weight and more downforce can do to their existing creation. The Bolide is an exercise in taking their luxurious and sophisticated Chiron hypercar and seeing what is physically possible if you take all the luxury away and turn it into a racing car. You might ask why, but surely that isn’t the point, when you have the ability and the pedigree that Bugatti have, surely ‘why not’ is what they thought to themselves instead. With the company now merged with and under the control of electric drive genius Mate Rimac, the successor to the Chiron is likely to be all-electric or at least heavily hybrid assisted. So why not showcase what your current powerplant is capable of.

Bugatti Bolide
Image courtesy of Bugatti

Using the same 8.0-litre quad-turbo W16 engine from the Chiron Super Sport that produces 1,578bhp and creating the most minimal bodywork to barely cover it, the Bolide definitely isn’t subtle, or even road legal. But it shows just what is capable when you take one of the most impressive combustion engines of all time and see how fast it can really go when left unrestrained and at maximum attack. The figures speak for themselves. With 3 tonnes of downforce at top speed, 500kg less mass than a Chiron, FIA safety requirement levels of stiffness to the safety equipment, also with no sound deadening, catalytic converters or particulate filters to reduce the noise, and even driving lessons from Bugatti’s chief test driver Andy Wallace. It’ll surely be quite a while until electric cars are this exciting and unrestrained.


BMW currently produce some of the best mainstream electric cars on the market, those that offer the looks and feel of a BMW yet seamlessly integrate the benefits of electric motoring. Their in-house ‘M performance’ division however, currently remain firmly rooted in their combustion engine past and engineering capabilities. Their current line up of M2, M3, M4, M5, M6 and M8 as well as their equivalent ‘X’ variants are purely combustion engine driven, at least for the time being, but that doesn’t mean they are staying quiet until the next generation arrives.

Image courtesy of BMW

Their latest offering is the new M4 CS and takes all of their motorsport knowhow to create the fastest iteration of M4 your money can buy. With 542bhp from the 3.0-litre twin turbocharged straight-six engine, four-wheel drive and a 20kg weight saving from the M4 Competition, the CS can reach 62mph in just 3.4 seconds. All that means that it can lap the Nürburgring in less time than a Ferrari Enzo, a Porsche Carrera GT, a Pagani Zonda F Clubsport or a Porsche 911 GT2 RS (997). All of which also never had an electric motor or bank of batteries in sight.

MINI John Cooper Works

The latest iteration of MINI offers cutting edge technology, go-kart handling capabilities and clever packaging in an all-new sharper and more modern shape. It was expected that the introduction of the new version would signal the end of the John Cooper Works variants as they look to integrate the electric versions alongside the petrol cars before the combustion engine choice eventually fades away. Thankfully however in the last week MINI seem to have had a change of heart and given the people what they want.

Mini Cooper JCW
Image courtesy of MINI

Not only have they released camouflaged images of a John Cooper Works ‘hot’ variant, but it is also a petrol one at that. Featuring the same aggressive styling, deeper bumpers, bigger spoiler and flared wheelarches as the previous generations, the MINI JCW should offer more power than previous models and even more impressive handling for which they have become famous for. All of that means there is even more hope of a ‘GP’ version arriving at some point in the future for one last combustion engine hurrah. If only it would come with a supercharger for the ultimate in nostalgic hot hatchback fun.

Aston Martin Vanquish

Rather than give us a preview of exactly what the next Vanquish is going to look like, Aston Martin decided to tease just its engine instead. Which in all its combustion engine glory is fine by us. An Aston Martin engine is a symphony of exhaust noise and tuneful engine notes, and their all-new V12 promises to offer just that. In a world of electronic whirring noises, fake engine sounds and talk of battery range and charging times, it was more than a welcome change to read a press release about cylinder blocks, conrods, cylinder heads, camshafts, intake and exhaust ports, flowrate injectors and spark plugs.

Aston Martin Vanquish V12
Image courtesy of Aston Martin

Details about the new car remain shrouded in secrecy for now, however Aston Martin’s Chief Technical Officer has confirmed that in its new iteration the engine ‘represents nothing less than the dawn of a dazzling new V12 era’ for the brand. An era that starts with 824bhp and 1,000Nm of torque from their all-new creation and judging by the DB12 and Vantage, will be more than just an extremely powerful grand tourer that merely sounds impressive. Aston Martin are definitely on a roll recently.

TWR Supercat

A famous old name from the world of motorsport has returned for another go at a road car that will do things a bit differently than others. Tom Walkinshaw Racing is legendary amongst racing Jaguar’s of the 1980’s and 1990’s which evolved into JaguarSport tuned versions of their road cars. Run by Tom Walkinshaw’s son Fergus, TWR Racing aim to take the history of the brand and its racing engineering knowhow to create limited edition performance versions of iconic models. Think of it as the Jaguar version of what Singer are to vintage Porsche’s.

TWR Supercat
Image courtesy of TWR

They are starting with a car that they have quite the history with; the Jaguar XJS. A car they won with at Bathurst, the Spa 24 hours and European Touring Car Championship. Taking a donor car they strip everything down to the bare shell then rebuild the whole thing but with much better parts. There are carbon fibre replacement body panels, more than two years of extensive design, engineering and development work, and all powered by a supercharged V12 developing 600bhp. Only 88 examples will be built and the starting price is £270,000. But how great to see a proper restomod of an iconic Jaguar model from yesteryear, long may it continue.

Aston Martin DBX 707

There is definitely a familiar pattern emerging here. The third time Aston Martin are appearing in our list and a sign that the brand remains stubborn with using combustion engines, and in their most powerful guise while they are at it. The DBX has recently had an overhaul to its interior to bring the styling, software and technology right up to date and in line with the DB12 and Vantage look. While they were at it they decided to get rid of the rest of the range and make the fearsome 707 the only option of DBX you can buy.

Aston Martin DBX 707
Image courtesy of Aston Martin

Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing. The DBX 707 uses the same 4.0-litre AMG-sourced V8 to produce almost 700bhp (or 707PS) and is capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in just 3.1 seconds on onwards to 193mph. They may have mainly focused on the interior for the majority of the improvements but you are unlikely to notice any of that when you press the accelerator all the way down and hold on for dear life. Yes an electric SUV may be quicker, but without the gear changes and the AMG roar it doesn’t have anywhere near the same level of pantomime and occasion.

Red Bull RB17

When Formula 1 designers or engineers try their hands at road cars, the results are usually pretty spectacular. The Gordon Murray designed McLaren F1 and later GMA T.50 and T.33 are works of art in their own right, the Mercedes-AMG One a track powerhouse and the Aston Martin Valkyrie looks like a fighter jet with numberplates. The last one, designed and engineered by Red Bull supremo Adrian Newey is about to get a very close rival, and from the very same man. In the current world of Formula 1, Adrian Newey designed cars are the ones to beat, so there is no better person to crate the ultimate track toy and this one is expected to be very special indeed.

Red Bull RB17
Image courtesy of Red Bull

Whilst designing the Valkyrie there were apparently a few restrictions that Newey had to abide by in order to keep a certain level of ‘Aston Martin’ to the design. He may be about to depart the famous Red Bull Racing team at the end of the year, but the brand have allowed him to continue with his largely unrestricted vision of the ultimate track-special vehicle. Power may come from a hybrid assisted powerplant, but when it is a naturally aspirated V10 that revs to 15,000rpm producing 1,000bhp, it may be difficult to ignore the combustion engine part of things, so we’ll forgive the RB17 for caving in that respect. With F1 derived engineering, lightweight construction techniques, airflow management and general wizardry, the 900kg RB17 with over 1,000bhp per tonne is sure to be one of the most impressive machines ever made, and only 50 lucky owners will get to find out just how impressive it is.

Oracle Car Finance

With over 2,300 Trustpilot reviews with an overall rating of 5.0 out of 5.0, and four-time consecutive award winners of the Best Specialist Car Finance Provider award from 2020 through to 2023, as well as having funded over £1.9 billion of vehicles and counting, you too can find out why thousands of people trust us time and time again to find a smarter, tailored funding solution when looking for your next dream car.

Make sure you follow us on InstagramLinkedIn and Facebook to keep up to date with what’s happening in the market and to see some stunning photos and videos of the amazing cars we fund.