Brembo is possibly the single most recognised brake manufacturer in the world today. Founded in Italy in 1961, and signing their first supply contract as early as 1964 with Alfa Romeo, they are now OEM suppliers for various brands including Porsche, Ferrari, Audi, Mercedes, VW, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Nissan and various others.
This success is not without reason. Manufactured with “quality above all else” as the standard, Brembo are who you turn to when you want the best you can get. That’s not to say their range is minimal. Brembo brakes are available for most popular road cars today, and many more unusual ones as well.
Brembo: The Best of Both Worlds
Like most European brake pad manufacturers, Brembo’s brake pads are required to meet the ECE R90 performance standard. However this doesn’t tell the whole story… See, the normal operating temperature of a brake pad installed in a car going about every day duties is 200-300 degrees C; as all pads with an optimum temperature range for this kind of use are designed to do so. For those who like to use their car spiritedly or frequent mountainous roads where the brakes get quite hot, a performance based pad might be more appropriate. These are aimed at temperatures around the 300-450 degrees C point.
Brembo’s brake pads are rated up to a significant 650 degrees C! This is normally entry into the realm of performance brake pads which squeal when cold and are too aggressive for the every day commute. Brembo have found their way around this though. While most brake manufacturers have a few various compounds available in their range to suit different applications, Brembo have hundreds of varied compounds at their disposal and each pad has a compound specifically chosen for that vehicle. These specialised compounds are then mated to the brake pads backing plate on top of an integral anti-squeal shim, eliminating any brake pad chatter and squeal normally associated with brake pads like these, resulting in a pad with the best of both worlds. This ensures that no matter the job at hand, Brembo have the pad to see you through.
World Leading Brake Discs
This absolute affinity with quality is continued into their range of discs. Their discs are available in two Variations: Standard and BremboMAX.
The standard discs are exactly what you would expect. OEM quality brake discs manufactured to the typical Brembo standard. In the case of many modern european cars that are equipped with High-Carbon discs from the factory, Brembo have taken the care to offer the appropriate standard discs with the same high Carbon content and are labelled as such. Their standard range of rotors also benefit from their patented Pillar Vent design for ventilated discs which not only aid cooling but increase the structural strength of the disc by up to 39%.
The BremboMAX range is a cut above even this. While they retain the Pillar Vent design and High-Carbon content in the metal, they’re also slotted with Brembo’s very specific slot design. Unusual to look at when first seen, the vents do of course aid the removal of heat as per any slotted rotor. However the addition of vents going against the direction of rotation is what truly sets this design apart.
As the disc turns and the brakes are applied, the backwards facing vents skim the microscopic top layer of your pad. The reason they do this is to help prevent any chance of glazing. One of the slots is cut shallower than than the others, to the rotors minimum thickness. This makes checking rotor wear quick and easy. When one of the slots can no longer be seen its time to replace them. This feature, coupled with the High-Carbon metals and Pillar Vent design make BremboMAX’s among the best discs on the market.