Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder PowerDork
7/16/10 10:50 a.m.

It’s hard not to love the look of outrageously monstrous brake rotors and calipers peeking out from inside alloy wheels. The large brakes on our 2000 Honda Civic Si project car, for example, look downright obscene between the spokes of our Kosei K1 wheels. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to show a significant decrease in stopping distances when testing large brake kits at normal highway speeds. According to most 60-to-zero testing, the amount of road the vehicle must cover before it comes to a halt doesn’t always decrease after a big brake kit is installed. Even today’s wimpiest stock brakes often have no problem generating more force than the tires can handle at these typical highway speeds.

As speeds increase, however, the amount of heat generated under braking increases exponentially, and the braking system’s challenge to slow the car becomes more and more difficult. High-speed braking requires serious brakes. Doubling the speed of a car quadruples the amount of force required to slow that car to a stop—and the amount of heat generated also quadruples. Time to do some more testing.

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