The braking system is the primary safety feature of any vehicle, so there are a lot of ways to upgrade it for better performance. While researching for upgrades, you might have stumbled upon the Brembo brand and asked yourself – what are Brembo brakes exactly, and are they a good investment? Here’s everything you should know about this product before you decide to add it to your car.
The Brembo company is one of the most reputable brands when it comes to brake system components. Brembo sells aftermarket parts, but the company also has a partnership with leading car manufacturers. There are several reasons why Brembo brakes are a great pick, from offering better braking performance to having a stylish design. But, as a result of that, they are on the pricier side, and that can be a major downside.
Brembo Has Been a Brake Industry Legend for Over 60 Years Now
Brembo S.p.A. is an automotive brake system manufacturer based in Italy, established in 1961 in Paladina as a family business of Emilio Bombassei and Italo Breda. The first supply contact came to fruition not long after establishing the brand, and it was with Alfa Romeo. In the 1980s, they also began supplying brake components to Ferrari, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Nissan. They also have a 40-year history with Formula 1 racing, among others.
Brembo Brake Components Are Known to This Day for Their Excellent Performance
Brembo is known for quality braking system parts, especially when it comes to high-performance cars or motorcycles you might see at some of the best car shows in the world. Today, Brembo sells over 1,300 products worldwide, including in the US and the UK, and they are known for their excellent aftermarket brake components, including calipers, brake discs, brake lines, and brake pads.
Brembo Is in Partnership With Leading Car Manufacturers
So, you can get Brembo braking components for an aftermarket upgrade, but as I’ve mentioned before, Brembo has had partnerships with leading luxury and sports brands from the very start. Here are some of the car manufacturers that have partnered with Brembo to use their brake components straight from the factory:
- Alfa Romeo,
The Company Stays Innovative Thanks to Their Diligent Research Strategy
The Brembo braking systems frequently incorporate materials and technologies directly derived from the world of racing. The performance of their products is always improving due to diligent research and frequent road testing, so they’re always in step with the evolution of cars. According to the company itself, Brembo continually strives to increase braking power, reduce vibration and noise, improve thermal resistance, as well as extend the durability of its products.
What Are Brembo Brakes, and Which Products Are Available?
If you’ve ever browsed the market for a luxury sports car, or you’ve researched what kind of upgrades you can get on your used vehicle, chances are you’ve seen the name Brembo over and over again. Sure, upgrading your brakes is not the only way to modify your car – you can upgrade the engine, transmission, and suspension as well. But when it comes to the braking system, Brembo is a very familiar name because of its stylish, quality components.
With a wide range of products, as well as a design that is derived both from a technical and aesthetic point of view, Brembo can meet the requirements of anyone that is looking for improved safety, sportier performance, or simply a new unique style. Here are some of the available products:
- Hub carriers,
- Brake pads,
- Full modules.
How Do Brembo Brakes Compare to Stock Brake Components?
Brembo components are known for their innovative technology and unique style, but what is the real difference between these and a stock brake system you have in your vehicle? Does it really offer superior performance than the OEM (original equipment manufacturers) braking systems?
A lot of testing has been done, so I’ve prepared a brief overview of results researchers got when comparing the braking performance of the stock system on a Golf R with a Brembo brake system by calculating the distance they need in order to come to a full stop:
|Starting Speed/Braking Episodes||Stock Brake System||Brembo Brake System|
|71 mph / 10||52.1 yards (47,65 m)||51 yards (46,72 m)|
|93 mph / 5||95.9 yards (87,77 m)||89.1 yards (81,49 m)|
What Do the Test Results Show Us?
The test drives above show that the Brembo brake system had better performance and shorter braking distances than the stock brakes that come with the Golf R under all conditions. The biggest difference was the one with a starting speed of 93 mph and 5 braking episodes – there was a 6.8-yard difference between the Brembo and the stock brake system.
It might not seem that drastic, but when you take into account that this difference is the equivalent of two small cars, it becomes clear just how much better Brembo components are when it comes to braking performance and safety. It also showed better at withstanding the stresses and the drop in performance due to the increase in thermal load.
Factors That Contribute to the Excellent Performance of Brembo Brake Systems
The test results clearly show us how superior Brembo braking systems are when it comes to performance and safety. But the question is – what are the factors that contribute to these excellent results? Here’s an overview of the main reasons why Brembo components can guarantee highly controllable, responsive, and safe braking:
Increasing the Surface Area Improves Braking Torque
When it comes to the braking system, size counts. Braking torque is a result of three factors – the clamping force, the friction coefficient, and the radius of the component. The larger the brake rotor diameter or the surface of a brake pad, the greater the brake torque. When it comes to calipers, the number and size of pistons directly affect the braking torque. Brembo recognizes all of this and takes it into account when designing brake discs, calipers, and pads.
Weight Is an Important Factor in Braking Performance
Of course, it’s not possible to increase the size as much as you want because it affects the weight, and that could be detrimental to overall performance. So, one of the main aspects of Brembo products is their lightness. For example, the Brembo ceramic carbon discs weigh about half of traditional discs of the same radius. Furthermore, most of them are drilled and slotted, which increases the surface area and allows effective heat distribution.
Also, the Brembo aluminum calipers guarantee a great weight-to-stiffness ratio thanks to their specific design and material. The reduction of caliper weight leaves residual torque in vehicles, which results in lower fuel consumption.
Brake Performance Owes a Lot to the Friction Coefficient
Besides the size and weight, the used material is also an important factor when it comes to brake performance because the friction coefficient has a lot of effect on the braking torque. That’s why Brembo products are made from high-friction materials in order to optimize the stopping performance.
Brembo braking pads have a faster response and shorter braking distances than OEM ones because of the high friction coefficient as well as greater heat distribution of the used material. The Brembo carbon ceramic rotors also have a higher friction coefficient, about 12% more than regular discs made from iron. The drilled and slotted design also ensures a greater grip and faster response of the braking system.
Brembo Constantly Works on Improving Brake Distribution
Of course, effective braking doesn’t depend solely on the components of the front system but on the balanced brake distribution between the two axles. This is the case when it comes to sports and race cars from which Brembo learned so much, and the reason why the development of their braking systems is evolving towards ensuring optimum braking balance and smaller stopping distances.
The Systemic Approach Might Be the Key to Their Success
At last, the dedicated research program of the Brembo company and its systemic approach to design might just be what made them so famous in the first place. Not only do they produce all of the braking components, but they also assemble them and provide complete brake modules. And all of that is done with the goal of maximum integration between certain parts, so they can efficiently work together to ensure durability, reliability, and comfort.
There Is One Major Downside – Brembo Brakes Can Be Very Expensive
When looking through the list of car manufacturers that have a partnership with Brembo, one quickly realizes that some of these models are very luxurious. While they might not be the most expensive cars in the world, if you’re thinking about buying a vehicle that comes with the Brembo brake system straight from the manufacturer, you’ll definitely start to wonder why car prices are so high.
Brembo Aftermarket Brake Systems Are Known for Being on the Pricier Side
If you don’t have or plan on buying a stunning supercar that can brake from extreme speed to a stop in a few seconds, you can opt for Brembo aftermarket products – just keep in mind that they can get quite pricey as well. However, they will surely upgrade your vehicle’s braking performance safety, no matter if you’re planning on upgrading it on your city car or a four-wheeler meant for off-road driving.
Are Brembo Brakes Worth Buying? It Comes Down to Your Personal Preference
Obviously, how much you need to put aside to get Brembo brakes depends on which exact component you need. While the braking pads are not such a big investment, the Brembo carbon-ceramic discs, calipers, and cylinders will make quite a dent in your pocket, especially if you decide to purchase the whole module. Just keep in mind that improving on one part of the braking system usually requires upgrading the other components as well.
In the end, the decision whether to buy Brembo brakes or not depends on your personal preference, as well as the vehicle you’re driving, as some cars don’t require additional braking power. If you’re a standard daily driver, these high-performance brakes won’t do much for you other than add style to your vehicle. But, if you can afford it, sometimes style is a good enough reason to go for it.
Brembo Is a Brake Industry Giant for a Reason
Purchasing from other less-established brands can turn out to be a risk worth taking, but when you go for a Brembo brake system, you know exactly what you’re buying. This company has years of experience and reputability behind it, and even though it might not be the only high-performance brake manufacturer out there, Brembo is the most widely recognized and respected of the bunch.