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The performance braking market has exploded in both size and popularity over the last decade and a half, and the market is now worth countless millions and features a dizzying array of competing systems from a bewildering selection of different manufacturers. One of the latest entries to this ultra competitive market is Vagbremtechnic (VBT), a firm that's managed to build a small yet fiercely loyal (not to mention vocal) band of customers, in the process confirming its ability to assemble class leading brake systems.
So, why should you plump for a VBT setup instead of a more traditional, standalone offering from one of the sector's aftermarket heavyweights? First and foremost, pure and undiluted performance; if it doesn’t work it doesn’t get supplied, however pretty it might look. The fact that VBT doesn't do anything except performance brake kits means that there are no other distractions, and that it is perfectly placed to devise uncompromising kits that fit perfectly and perform in an exemplary manner. VBT builds brakes for performance applications, specifically for those that intend to drive their cars in the manner in which they were intended, hence why its kits are constructed from some of the most advanced materials around and have garnered praise from professional drivers both in cup cars and endurance racers alike.
Vagbremtechnic's success can be attributed, at least in part, to its innovative business model. Created by David Brown a little over 10 years ago in response to what he felt was a lack of capable braking hardware for the fettled VW community, VBT majors on its ability to source the ultimate OEM brake components, then offering them in a wide variety of VAG-friendly fitment options. This way of approaching performance braking takes a staggering amount of research and forward planning to pull off in any meaningful manner, and the fact that VBT is now able to offer such a wide variety of OEM-derived brake setups says a lot about its forward-looking nature.
VBT And OEM Hardware
The modular nature of the VBT range sets it apart from its competitors, and even the briefest of glances at its website will tell you all you need to know about what's involved with this. The firm's engineers are constantly striving to source technically polished parts from OEMs and trusted brake manufacturers, before combining them with other, equally capable components to create brake kits that operate in a manner that's nothing short of breathtaking.
A good way of getting to grips with the modular VBT range is to have a closer look at one of its most popular fitments, the Audi TTRS, the model upon which the business was originally anchored. VBT can supply a raft of options for this model, including a disc replacement kit for the OEM discs which uses an AP Race derived 362×32mm disc and HEL braided lines, an offering that shows that VBT is more than capable of sourcing key parts from different sources, then combining them as one. Those that wish to pursue a different braking route are also well catered for, VBT also offering one of its famed disc and Caliper Carrier Kits. These enable the fitment of the Audi RS4/R8/Gallardo's factory fitted Brembo eight-piston calipers to the TTRS, which has gained global popularity. They even provide adaption hardware for the fitting of OEM Ceramic Disc Assemblies, again highlighting the company's ability to utilise OEM gems.
Vagbremtechnic and AP Racing
VBT has been part of a group of companies that boasts the EU’s largest AP Racing distributor within its ranks since 2011, and this gives VBT a line in to the AP Racing technical department. In practice this means that the company has direct (not to mention coveted) access to rarely found hardware and cutting edge research, both of which allow both brake dyno and real world testing for Research and Development projects. It's a subtle yet hugely significant development, and one that certainly bodes very well for the future.
Caliper Carrier Kits
The VBT Caliper Carrier Kits are one of the most innovative products in its armoury of parts, and it's easy to see why they've proved so popular with the tuned VW faithful. Available for a massive selection of popular VW-related models (plus a few other key fitments), the Carrier Kits are the result of many months of careful R&D on VBT's part. They allow the fitment of key parts from the upper echelons of the OEM range to more everyday, real world models, which is fantastic news if you've ever fantasized about fitting Porsche 996 calipers to your Audi A3 or the Audi R8's mighty ceramic front brake setup to your Mk7 Golf.
VBT's in-depth understanding of the relationship between calipers, rotors and high performance brake pads is matched only by its knowledge of the interaction between piston size, number and the rate of pad wear. This has had a direct impact on the manner in which VBT conducts business: it doesn't 'bundle or box shift' kits, meaning that most sales involve a specific, one-to-one discussion with the buyer to ascertain which parts are best suited to their needs and car. It also explains VBT's aversion to selling its kits purely on notions of disc size and piston count. The company and its engineers are painfully aware that the largest, heaviest kit with the biggest discs and mammoth, ten-piston calipers isn't always the best solution, certainly not if the individual in question is never likely to venture on track!
The VBT range is small yet perfectly formed, meaning that it can focus all of its resources on performance and capability. As the name suggests, Vagbremtechnic caters for VAG models in a big way and VWs, Audis, Skodas and SEATs make up the bulk of its range, albeit with a select number of fitments for BMWs.
VBT might be adept at cherry-picking OEM parts but that doesn't mean that the firm isn't keenly aware of the significance of motorsport on its product range, both in terms of developing and marketing the high performance brakes. A close association with the VW Racing Cup has enabled VBT to build an extensive knowledge base, one that's directly led to a road-going kit based on the hardware used by the race cars. The firm's road kit for the Mk5 Golf actually uses the exact same disc as the competition cars, proving the open-ended nature of VBT's products. Perhaps the ultimate proof of the effectiveness of VBT packages is that so many racers have opted to utilise their kits, and it's now hard to attend a club-level race meeting without seeing at least one team sporting its advanced brake offerings.
Built To Last
There's another important facet of VBT's hardware that we've not covered yet, and that's build quality. Of course every brake-maker will extoll the long lasting nature of their products given half a chance, but VBT take the idea of quality very seriously indeed, so much so that they develop their products with it in mind. The firm is only too aware that its brakes are likely to be fitted to a number of different cars over the course of the kit's life, hence why they're developed to withstand this and to be easily and swiftly re-commissioned if required. All VBT kits are designed with an extended service life.
There's a lot to love about Vagbremtechnic and its impressively varied range, especially if you're in the market for some vastly uprated stoppers. The fact that the range is modular in nature means that it can be easily worked to meet your own needs, while the innovative use of Caliper Carrier Kits means that, should you feel the need, a whole other world of performance, OEM-based braking is available.