Are Ceramic Brakes Worth the Money?

Equaling the cost of a small hatchback, upgrading to this system is quite the investment in performance. One of the most expensive additions are the highly debated ceramic brakes. Here are the reasons why you need them and the reasons why you don’t.

By Christopher Hurst - November 10, 2017

Heat management

Carbon ceramic brakes take heat to work. If you can’t get them up to temperature the benefits are minimal. On the street, they really aren’t that great. In day to day driving standard Porsche, brakes respond very well and do the job just fine. On the race track it’s a different story, but on the street, there is little to no difference.


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Weight

Steel brakes weigh more, further increasing unsprung weight. This weight, which is not supported by the springs, have large impacts on handling and performance. Driving around day to day it makes absolutely no difference and shouldn't be the primary thing you focus on when considering PCCBs, though it is a factor. 


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Skill level

Unless you compete and can produce lap times that are substantially consistent (within 3/10ths of a second each lap) I would argue that ceramic brakes are a waste of money. Completely unnecessary. Changing brake pads on steel brakes are a better option for someone who isn’t capable of driving the wheels off their S2000. 


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Ego mod

Chances are if you can afford a good build then you can afford to option ceramics. Some guys do it just to brag to their buddies. When you replace them you change out everything. Not cheap. Looking cool at cars and coffee goes out the window when your buddy with steel brakes goes right past you into turn 1. Point bys are 10x worse than any compliments you can get in a parking lot.


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How good are they?

Incredible. When you can work the car hard enough to get temperatures in the sweet spot they have no fade and slow down so hard you can feel the blood in your face move. They are absolutely worth every penny if you’re capable of utilizing them. The benefits of zero fade, better stopping when warm and reductions in unsprung weight combine to make the S2000 a real track weapon. There is a massive difference that steel simply can’t match.


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Conclusions

If you want to be “that guy” then go ahead and spend the money. If you actually want to learn and not be a tool, practice on the standard brakes and get comfortable. You can spend a lot of time on the track for the cost difference which will make you a better driver than any mod you can throw on your brakes. Seat time is king in the world of automotive racing unless you are on a pro level. Save the money and hit the track instead!


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