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Carbon Fiber Rotors

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by DaveVa, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. DaveVa

    DaveVa Sig Perf #236 VIN #484

    May 31, 2011
    Northern Virginia
    When watching the Saleen Automotive Tesla’s Model S EV based FourSixteen video they made a big deal of removing 18lbs per corner by replacing the rotors with carbon fiber rotors. They also state that since this is "rotational" weight it is even more effective just saving 70lbs elsewhere. While I believe Saleen changed the calipers as well, the rotors seem like a very easy DIY modification. Has anyone else changed rotors to carbon fiber? Is there a part number out there that works?

    Possible group buy?
  2. rdrcrmatt

    rdrcrmatt Member

    Jun 27, 2013
    Those are not carbon fiber. they are carbon. as in the element. They are used only in the highest end performance world due to their weight but they are NOT good for street use.

    Carbon Fiber is a composite material made of basically glue and fabric and there's no way it would stand up to any sort of forces required for braking.

    And, from the pictures of the foursixteen i've seen, i see nothing that leads me to believe they're actually using carbon rotors.
  3. PopSmith

    PopSmith Saving for a Model 3

    Jan 22, 2010
    Just to add to this, carbon rotors have a high operating temperature. Their optimal working temperature is in the high hundreds of degrees Celsius. They wouldn't get anywhere near warmed up in a Model S (or any EV). I believe they have fairly long stopping distance when cold, too, so they wouldn't work well in an EV.

    This is how they look when warmed up in motor sports:
  4. thimo

    thimo Model S driver

    May 16, 2013
    Arnhem, the Netherlands
    #4 thimo, Sep 12, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
    Here's a photo of the Saleen's disks. Looks like the real deal to me. 1ae31c69fce44cd1c42a8c53af60d41e.jpg

    And as I can't help myself I've been reading a bit up on the advantages and disadvantages of carbon brakes. They can work from low temperatures, but have a lesser feel than steel. The top advantage is that they work well up to very high temperatures and last longer. Less unsprung weight is also an advantage.

    This sums it up quite nicely (M5POST - BMW M5 Forum - View Single Post - M5 Carbon Ceramic Brakes for Minnesota? Thoughts?):

    "When I attended the Seville M5 experience, I asked one of the M5 engineers which brakes he would pick. He said the steel brakes were better in most driving situations. He said the carbon brakes only have an advantage in extreme track driving situations, but in most driving conditions, the steel brakes had better braking power. He also said that these ceramic brakes were more of a marketing request."

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