High Performance Vehicles Require High Performance Brakes
Everyone loves a high performance vehicle. The sound of the engine, the horsepower it generates, and if a fan of Dodge vehicles then they may really like a Challenger with a shaker hood. What many people don’t think about is everything else that goes into making a high performance vehicle drivable. Think about how well it handles, even with all that power under the hood. Not only that, but the power needed to bring a vehicle like the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon to a stop. That’s a whole lot of work taking place.
Brake the Basics
Before discussing the different types of brakes in a high performance vehicle like the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon or Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, let’s talk about the basic build of a brake system. It comes down to calipers, rotors, brake pads, and pistons.
– Brake Caliper – The caliper is basically the housing system for the moving parts that actually bring the vehicle to a stop. Inside the caliper, there are several pistons, and when pressure is applied to the brake pedal, brake fluid is transmitted into the caliper, and that newly introduced pressure pushes on the pistons inside the caliper to then push on brake pads that then push against a brake rotor. Typically, there are 2-4 calipers per brake system.
– Brake Pad – Ever see a mechanic check your brakes simply by looking at the wheels? Visible past the wheel spokes, the brake pad is the middle-man when it comes to slowing a vehicle down to a stop. Made of various compounds based on the vehicle it’s being used for, the brake pad is pushed by the pistons in a caliper against the brake rotor, or disc brake. Brake pads are the parts of brakes most likely to wear down the quickest.
– Brake Rotor/Disc Brake – The brake rotor is the component actually bringing the vehicle to a stop. Once the brake pad is applied against it, that pressure is then transmitted via the brake rotor against the axle it’s connected to. This of course creates friction, and the more friction there is, the more quickly a rotating shaft, i.e. the axle, will come to a stop.
Now that we have that covered, let’s look at the braking systems used in Dodge SRT vehicles.
From 60-0 mph in 2.3 Seconds
When it comes to Dodge vehicles, consumers will see various types of brake systems. For Dodge SRT vehicles, one of the two will be installed – Brembo 4-Piston High-Performance Brakes or a Brembo 6-Piston High-Performance Front Brakes. “Brembo” is simply the brand name of the braking system, known and trusted for their automotive disc brake technology and high-performance braking systems. These are the only brakes an automotive brand like Dodge will trust to bring their vehicles to a stop.
Installed in SRT vehicles such as the Dodge Charger SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat, a Brembo 4-Piston High-Performance Brake system is made up of 4-piston Brembo brake calipers, a 14.2-inch front rotor, and a 13.8-inch rear rotor. Given what we know about a braking system, this says a lot about Dodge SRT vehicles. They require more than the average amount of brake calipers to come to a full stop.
High performing SRT vehicles like the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon need more than that to slow down and stop. Used in the Dodge Challenger T/A 392, Challenger SRT 392, Challenger SRT Hellcat, and Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the largest front-brake system ever used on an FCA US vehicle. Made up of 390-mm Brembo two-piece rotors (14.2 inches in the front front and 13.8 inches in the rear) with six-piston calipers, the Brembo 6-Piston High-Performance Front Brake system will bring a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon going 60 mph to a stop in just 2.3 seconds and 97 feet. That’s pretty impressive.
By the way, notice the difference in size for the rotors? They’re larger in the front because the inertia of the vehicle will be transferred to the front of the vehicle as it’s brought to a stop. That means the front wheels are taking the brunt of the act of slowing the car down, and thus, they’ll need larger rotors to be more efficient in their stopping power.
2.3 seconds and 97 feet may seem like a lot, but we wouldn’t want to imagine what’s going to happen to anyone driving a Dodge SRT vehicle that stops on a dime. If interested in learning more about what goes into the control and handling of high performance vehicles, read our two-part series on “Performance Parts Explained”. You can also check out our inventory if looking to test out the stopping power of a car yourself.