Italian brake experts Brembo will supply the first carbon-ceramic braking system ever used on a production Cadillac. The setup will be offered as an option on what is also the most powerful car in the GM luxury brand’s history, the 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing.
The standard cast iron brakes fitted to the CT5-V Blackwing are already deeply impressive. Yet the carbon-ceramic system’s specification is, by comparison, breathtaking.
|Cast Iron||Carbon Ceramic|
|Front disc size (in.)||15.7 x 1.4||15.7 x 1.5|
|Front disc weight (lbs.)||36.6||16.5|
|Front brake pad surface (sq. in.)||22.0||22.0|
|Rear disc size (in.)||14.7 x 1.1||14.6 x 1.3|
|Rear disc weight (lbs.)||24.5||12.8|
|Rear brake pad surface (sq. in.)||6.6||11.6|
As the table above shows, the dimensions of the components in the two systems are almost entirely identical to within fractions of an inch. The only major deviation is that the rear brake pad surface area in the carbon-ceramic package is close to double that of the standard one.
The outstanding difference between them is their contrasting weight. We can assume that the calipers and pads weigh the same in each case. The rotors are another matter. Those at the front are less than half the weight in the carbon-ceramic system at just 16.5 pounds each compared with the standard 36.6 pounds, while the rear rotors are 12.8 pounds as opposed to 24.5 pounds.
The total saving is 63.6 pounds – a significant reduction even in a large sedan weighed down by full road equipment and the supercharged 6.2L V8 LT4 gasoline engine, which produces 668 horsepower and 659 pound-feet of torque. There are three reasons why this will help the performance of the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing. First, the overall weight of the vehicle is reduced. Second, there is less rotational inertia to overcome. Third, all of the removed weight is unsprung, which should improve handling. There may be a slight penalty in terms of ride quality, but customers who want a carbon-ceramic brake package are unlikely to be troubled by this.
A further benefit is that carbon-ceramic rotors have an extremely high melting point, and the pads used on the front of the CT5-V Blackwing (which will do most of the work) are also made of ceramic material. Overheating is therefore almost completely unlikely. The rear pads on the system are not ceramic, but their greatly increased area should reduce the effects of heat absorption.
Finally, since carbon-ceramic composite is entirely non-metallic, there is no chance that the rotors will corrode. The optional system is priced at $9,000, which is no small sum, but CT5-V Blackwing owners who choose it will certainly get a lot of benefits for their money.
This post was created in collaboration with our sister publication, Cadillac Society.