With automakers churning out more and more powerful vehicles, one has to wonder how drivers keep all of the horsepower and torque of a muscle car or performance car under control. The new 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 2.3 seconds, and it can be brought to a full stop from 60 mph in 97 feet. The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk hits 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and can be stopped in 114 feet. Those are pretty impressive acceleration times, but the stopping times are just as impressive when you think about the physics behind it. What’s the secret to that impressive stopping power? High-performance braking systems.
Brake System Basics
Understanding brake systems can be a little confusing at first because there are a lot of components to brakes – calipers, rotors, brake pads, and pistons. A brake caliper is part of the disc brake system and is filled with several pistons. When the brake pedal is pushed and pressure is applied from the brake fluid, the pistons inside the caliper push the brake pads against the rotors to slow and eventually stop the vehicle. Typically there are usually 2-4 calipers per brake system. The brake rotor is most often an iron disc connected to the wheel’s hub that works with the brake pad to stop the vehicle; that is why a braking system may also be referred to ask a disc brake system. The more pistons, the more stopping power and the more pistons, the larger the caliper and generally the rotor as well.
Brembo Be Thy Name
“Brembo” is a name heard often when talking about brake systems. Brembo is an acknowledged world leader and innovator in the field of automotive disc brake technology and high-performance braking systems. A name automotive brands can trust, the Brembo brake systems pop up in all kinds of high-performance vehicles, such as the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, the Chevrolet Corvette, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Depending on the setup of wheels, axles, and suspension, the size and specifics of Brembo brakes are different, but almost any set of Brembo brakes will get the job done.
Brembo 4-Piston High-Performance Brakes are used in the Dodge Charger SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat, come standard on the Chevrolet Camaro 2SS coupe, and they are available on the Chevrolet Camaro 1LS coupe. The system is made up of 4-piston Brembo brake calipers, a 14.2-inch front rotor, and a 13.8-inch rear rotor to improve handling and control of the vehicle under extreme braking. Sometimes, such as in the Camaro ZL1, the front brakes may have a 6-piston system whereas the rear has a 4-piston system. This 6:4 setup shows up more in Corvettes, though.
Brembo 6-Piston High-Performance Front Brakes are used in the Dodge Challenger T/A 392, Challenger SRT 392, and Challenger SRT Hellcat. This is the largest front-brake system ever used on an FCA US vehicle. It is made up of 390-mm Brembo two-piece rotors with six-piston calipers. This is the power that can bring a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon to a full stop in less than 100 feet whilst going 60 mph. It may seem obvious, but the more pistons there are in a braking system, the more force can be applied to the brake pad and rotor to stop the wheels. The reason these larger calipers and rotors are put in the front is because of the transfer of weight when a vehicle is brought to a stop. With the weight transferring to the front of the car, the front brakes bare the majority of task for slowing the car or bringing it to a stop.
Some brake systems may also come visually tailored to the specific model and trim. For instance, the Brembo 4-Piston High-Performance Brakes used in the Dodge Charger SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat come with red brake calipers, whereas the Brembo 6-Piston High-Performance Front Brake system used in the Dodge Challenger T/A 392 come with black brake calipers (red on Challenger SRT 392, and Challenger SRT Hellcat). The Chevrolet Corvettes also have some choices – yellow or red brake calipers are available on the Corvette Stingray and Corvette Grand Sport, with dark gray metallic-painted calipers on the Grand Sport with the Z07 package. The Chevy Corvette Z06 comes standard with red brake calipers, but has the option of dark gray metallic as well. In the end, it’s just a personal style choice.
If interested to know more, we discussed many performance parts and how they work in our article “Performance Parts Explained – Dodge”. Check it out. If interested in getting a feel for how well these brakes work, check out our inventory or give us a call for a test drive.