There are a number of qualities and features that instantly identify a Porsche to those in the know. That solid thunk you get when you close the driver’s side door, the evolutionary yet still iconic design of a 911s rear-end and the ability to reverse the spin of the earth when you step hard enough on the brakes. It’s a feeling that never fades and has yet to be replicated in any other production car that I can think of. This brute-force, almost surreal braking experience is no coincidence. Instead, it’s an evolution of Porsche’s racetrack to road technology development. Here’s a quick look at the evolution of Porsche disk brakes.
1962 Annular disc brakes first seen on on the 356 B Carrera 2
ANNULAR DISC BRAKES are used in the 356 B Carrera 2. The brake calipers grip the discs from the inside, allowing larger disc diameters.
1966 Internally vented brake disc
INTERNALLY VENTED BRAKE DISCS make their premiere as standard equipment in the 911 S—front and rear. The cooling openings between the friction surfaces dissipate the heat generated while braking.
1974 Cross-drilled brake disc
CROSS-DRILLED BRAKE DISCS are a part of the specific equipment of the 911 Carrera 3.0. (Internally vented AND cross drilled brakes, together, first made a track appearance in 1970 on the Porsche 908). The holes ensure that brake pad grit and water are dispersed, which improves responsiveness particularly in wet weather.
1977 Four-piston brake caliper
FOUR-PISTON BRAKE CALIPERS ensure that the brake performance in the 911 Turbo 3.3 keeps pace with the increased engine power. The technology comes from the 917/30 race car.
1983 Anti-lock brakes (ABS)
ANTI-LOCK BRAKES (ABS) first appear as an option for the 928 S. The system prevents the wheels from locking during full braking—the car retains its steerability.
1996 Monobloc aluminum brake caliper
MONOBLOC ALUMINUM BRAKE CALIPERS come standard in the first Boxster generation. The four-piston monobloc fixed calipers are manufactured from a single piece for improved heat dispersion.
2001 The PCCB (Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake)
The PCCB (Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake) celebrates its debut in the 911 Turbo and 911 GT2. The ceramic brakes are 50 percent lighter than gray cast-iron discs with comparable braking power. This advance reduces the unsprung mass—and enhances driving comfort and brake performance.
2015 Ten-piston brake caliper
TEN-PISTON BRAKE CALIPERS are being used for the first time on the front axle of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. In conjunction with the ceramic brake discs with a diameter of 420 millimeters (also standard), they ensure the highest fading stability and exceptional responsiveness even at high speeds.
I’m not quite sure what can best Porsche’s current ceramic brake offering, but I imagine in time, something will. I’m just not sure my body will be able to handle the g-forces they create under extreme braking conditions.