‘Forget what you think you know about carbon ceramic brakes’: Porsche

Heavy brakers and trackday heroes are buying the wrong brakes

Porsche 911 Wheel Jpg

Carbon ceramic brake discs are very expensive. We all know that. Optioning them onto a new 911 Carrera S will set you back $18,770 but a technical representative for Porsche says (though in contrast to response from a Porsche spokesperson) that if you’re keen on trackdays or are just really aggressive on the brakes, it may be better to give them a swerve.

“Yes, ceramic discs can degrade if you’re hard on the brakes,” said Watson.

“Heat build-up will degrade the carbon fibres in the disc, so if you’re doing club days we’d always recommend iron discs,” he added.

This runs contrary to what most feel is the USP of carbon discs, namely that they can lap up some serious punishment, being heat-cycled repeatedly without inducing brake fade. And that they’re extremely long lasting.

When asked what the life cycle of the PCCB (Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake) discs was, Watson chuckled and refused to be drawn on speculating on the durability of a consumable.

“We learned that lesson a long time back,” he said at the 992 launch event at Tailem Bend. “When we first launched the discs we told people they’d last virtually for the life of the car and people were doing a number of trackdays and coming back to us saying ‘I’ve worn them out’,” he admitted.

So while there are obviously dynamic benefits in reducing unsprung weight at each corner and so on, we asked who was the target audience for carbon ceramic brakes.

“People who don’t like cleaning their wheels,” came the somewhat arch reply. “They don’t leave a build-up of brake dust, so that’s an advantage,” claimed Watson.

However, a spokesperson for Porsche told Wheels that there are benefits to both types of discs depending on how they are used.

"Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) offer improved benefits in terms of braking performance and handling (due to reduction in unsprung weight) and therefore are the preferred braking option for many Porsche drivers," they said.

"For those drivers that take their Porsche to a circuit regularly (for example, amateur racers), they may opt for our steel brakes, as they still offer extremely strong braking performance and are more affordable to replace."


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