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Hagerty Employee

The wild technology behind Porsche's newest brakes

The earliest automobiles had brakes made of wood, pressed against the rim or tire by a hand lever. Now, saying a car's brakes are "wooden" is almost as cliché as determining that it "understeers at the limit." Utter either phrase amidst intelligent company at your own risk.


Chintzy phraseology or not, the evolution of brake technology is no joke. In 2017, Porsche debuted a brake technology that it hoped would change the way we think about brake wear. Three years later, was Porsche just pulling our collective leg? Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained took a deep dive into the claims.


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Intermediate Driver

Neither Kyle nor Jason said anything about the WET performance of these remarkable brakes.  There are no surface slots or cross-drilled holes in the rotor to help flush moisture from between the pads and rotor surfaces.  What about that boys??

Also, who supplies Porsche with this advanced technology?

Hagerty Employee

Hey @GoFast I am not a brake engineer, but I've written about the topic a bunch. My understanding about the slots and holes in the rotor is not to exhaust water, but rather the gas layer than can form between pad and rotor. And I heard dissenting opinions on that too. A few engineers told me that the holes and/or grooves are more style than substance. 


My understanding aligns with @lweb19. These rotors should not be affected any worse than a standard iron rotor when it comes to wet conditions. 


If anything, the near-mirror finish would help wet performance as the water would potentially sheet off centrifugally quick/easier as the rotor spins, rather than hang onto the shallow grooves of an iron rotor. I am not a brake engineer though, so this is merely an amateur thoughts.