We've talked before about the more obvious advantages associated with investing in a more capable set of brakes from Vagbremtechnic, with many of our previous blog posts having focussed on improved brake pedal feel, enhanced stopping ability in all conditions, and the massive upswing in driver confidence that inevitably follows the fitment of more capable discs, pads and calipers. This is all true of course, but today we thought we'd take the time to underline another, all too often advantage of new braking hardware – reduced weight.
Your average car's braking system is a hefty affair which sees weighty lumps of metal rotated at great speed, in the process generating extremes of temperature and friction, and all in an area of the car which has a massive influence over other facets, namely acceleration and handling prowess. Your brakes, wheels, hubs and other 'outboard' components are classified as unsprung weight, I.e the elements of your car which are not directly supported by its suspension, and reducing unsprung weight can result in marked improvements in terms of handling. There's another significant aspect to consider here, and that's rotational mass, something which can have a huge impact on both acceleration and handling. Reducing both unsprung weight and rotational mass is therefore highly desirable and worthwhile, and swapping bulky, standard brakes for lighter aftermarket versions is one of the best ways of going about it.
We've opted to illustrate the differences in weight between brake setups by throwing the spotlight on a trio of popular discs; the 340×30mm discs fitted as standard to MQB platform models like the Mk7 Golf R/Audi S3 8V/Seat Leon Cupra, the identically sized OEM Clubsport S discs, and one of our own, VBT-branded offerings.
The OEM MQB discs are capable and well designed, much as you'd expect of a product intended for a wide reaching platform sold in a dizzying variety of different markets and under a selection of different brands. The bad news is that these factory-fitted discs are far heavier than they need be, doubtless a by product of VW's need to keep a close eye on costs and to ensure ease of manufacturer, tipping the scales at a hefty 10.7kg per corner. While undoubtedly capable enough, these standard discs can be something of a weak link in high power MQB cars, particularly if they're driven on track or in an especially aggressive manner.
We've recently managed to source a supply of the Sports Brake Discs fitted to the Nurburgring-smashing Golf Clubsport S, and are therefore in the fairly unique position of being able to evaluate and compare them to both the standard MQB disc, and the advanced, VBT offering. The Clubsport discs are identically sized but are a shade lighter at 9.8kg (a saving of 0.9kg per corner), are drilled to aid cooling, and are therefore a more performance orientated disc overall. The Clubsports do have one downside however, namely that, in line with many Audi RS applications, they feature internal vanes as opposed to being of a 'handed' design. This means that one of the two discs will inevitably rotate in the incorrect direction, leading to potential overheating issues in high pressure, intense heat scenarios.
Last but by no means least, the Vagbremtechnic MQB offering, one which comes it at 362×32mm and is therefore noticeably larger than both the 'regular' and Clubsport brake disc packages. Not only are they larger the VBT discs are actually lighter, coming in at a positively featherweight 8.6kg per corner. They're also correctly handed so can be counted upon to resist brake fade and perform perfectly time after time, lap after lap and mile after mile, making them the perfect choice for those keen to extract every last morsel of performance from the MQB platform.
Vagbremtechnic can supply both the Clubsport and our own, VBT-developed discs, and can of course also provide detailed, dedicated advice and feedback as to which offering is best suited to
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At Vagbremtechnic we're consistently asked which brake pads we'd recommend for a specific setup, so much so that it's among the most commonly posed queries! We can't stress the importance of one-on-one customer communication when it comes to pad specification, hence why we recommend that buyers put aside 5 minutes of their time to talk to our engineering team. Forum [...]
'Braking Even'Get to grips with Vagbremtechnic, one of the tuned VAG scene's newest performance brake specialists and one with an innovative approach to doing business.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 [...]