Breaks are a crucial part of every vehicle, and their contribution to the overall performance of the car shouldn't be underestimated. Since the 1990s, companies have been experimenting with the unique carbon ceramic materials that are currently only available for the most expensive and luxurious cars such as Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren or Aston Martin DBS. They serve as a functional but mainly fashionable addition to the top brands.
What are they good at?
Apart from standard brakes that get hot when they have to stop a car's movement, carbon ceramic brakes can withstand the heat that occurs during the braking, and thus last longer. They also don't corrode even in the salt water, which further increases their lifespan. Finally, the carbon ceramic brakes have much more attractive design than the traditional breaks and are much lighter, which helps to improve the general performance of the car. However, their greatest positive feature is that they last much longer than the standard brake. It is stated that one set of the brakes can remain for the whole life of the car.
What are the costs like?
These brakes are very expensive, with their prices rising somewhere to $8,000 - $9,000. The prices are widely criticized not only by the customers but also by various experts who argue with the fact that the more expensive type of brakes do not hasten the process of braking and thus serves rather as the cool feature than the functional one. Ferrari includes the breaks as the standard attribute of their cars which means that they do not ask for additional price - but we all know the prices of Ferraris.
Cons of carbon ceramic breaks
The product, however, possesses also other drawbacks. The optimal operating temperature for carbon ceramic brakes is higher than in the case of the regular breaks which can lead to the lower braking feel during the first part of pedal travel. This problem may be much severe when driving in cold weather. The breaks also make a little noise during a low-speed braking, which is also not typical for the standard brakes, and it resembles the bus or truck brakes rather.
So, buy it or not?
The choice whether or not to purchase the carbon ceramic brakes will be mainly influenced by the personality of the buyer. If you are the one who wants to have a fashionable accessory to your car that will make it look more luxurious, go and get it. The same is true also if you are a driver who often takes his/her car to the track and wants to improve the times in laps since the brakes lower weight makes the car´s acceleration faster. However, if you just want to drive the vehicle along the highway to the shops, work, and home, then the special carbon ceramic brakes might be a waste of money. You can spend your $8,000 on something that will actually make a big difference in your car’s look, feel, and performance.
Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons