- Carbon ceramic brakes are race car tech availible on road cars
- Most new cars don’t use ceramic brakes becuase of their stratospheric cost
- Brembo makes brakes for just about every major automaker
Racecar technology has a way of trickling down into new cars over time. Turns out, lessons learned in Formula 1, NASCAR, and other motorsports usually make cars faster and safer. Formula 1 brake technology practically pioneered the carbon ceramic brake, and we’ve now had it in road cars for decades. And those fancy Brembo ceramics also make your car do things other than stop better.
Are carbon ceramic brakes worth it?
For those looking for a more in-depth explanation of CCB (carbon ceramic brake) technology, we’d recommend watching Engineering Explained’s video below. Jason goes into great depth with things in a way I’m simply too stupid to do. Instead, we’re going to boil things down to a more English-friendly level. First, we’ll start with whether a big brake kit upgrade to CCBs is worth it.
In a word, N-O. Unfortunately, carbon ceramic brakes are simply too expensive to put on your car. Frankly, they’re probably not even worth it in 99% of applications. Unless you plan on turning that 2023 Nissan Z into a race car, the performance gains you’ll see from a big brake kit are more than sufficient. All this to say nothing of the cost. The Brembo CCBs in the video below are worth $10,000. Porsche will want almost $30,000 to replace the CCBs on a Cayenne Turbo S.
What are the benefits of carbon ceramic brakes?
However, this isn’t to say that carbon ceramic stoppers aren’t worth it in some instances. We’ll start with the weirdest benefit. Turns out, a set of carbon stoppers can actually improve your car’s ride by way of reducing unsprung weight. Like carbon fiber, CCBs are lighter than traditional metal components, which means your suspension has to do less work to keep your car level and comfy. Then there’s the performance advantages.
A set of Brembo carbon ceramic brakes like the ones in Jason’s video are extremely good at managing heat from hard stopping. That’s why stupid fast track-ready cars like the McLaren 720s use carbon brakes. From a racing standpoint, Formula 1 teams like Mercedes prefer carbon brakes because they don’t fade like normal brakes. Instead, they stay very consistent, helping the driver keep their braking consistent and on-point.
Your car probably doesn’t have CCBs, but it does have Brembo brakes
While your street car probably doesn’t have CCBs yet, it does probably have Brembo brakes. The Italian company is one of the largest brake OEMs in the world, and they produce stoppers for everyone from Alfa to Zenvo. So, next time the local tuner-bro is bragging about their Brembos, rest assured that you can brag right back.