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There is an article in this week's Autocar on the M6. They say that the M6 has got the same brakes as the M5 which is not very good. They they mention that hot hatches have 4 pot brembo callipers and porsches have ceramic brakes but BMW has given us 2 pot callipers.
 

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The new carbon ceramics were supposed to be the end-all in brake tech but they have had more problems with them and a lot of owners have consider swaping them for steel. Moral of the story is pretty doesn't make good. BMW ///M brakes are tried and true. I have had many people comment on how hard my little E36 ///M3 stops.
 

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bluebmw said:
There is an article in this week's Autocar on the M6. They say that the M6 has got the same brakes as the M5 which is not very good. They they mention that hot hatches have 4 pot brembo callipers and porsches have ceramic brakes but BMW has given us 2 pot callipers.
I think a lot of articles are based on figures/descriptions/press releases rather than first hand driving experience. Owners haven't had much doubt on past M's and I don't think the flagship M5/M6 brakes on them are going to that flawed.
 

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bluebmw said:
There is an article in this week's Autocar on the M6. They say that the M6 has got the same brakes as the M5 which is not very good. They they mention that hot hatches have 4 pot brembo callipers and porsches have ceramic brakes but BMW has given us 2 pot callipers.
This is just numbers talking. Whoever said that doesn't now anything about brakes. He/she can count and so decided that 4 pot brembos must be better than 2 pot floating (and i'm sure without understand of what the floating part means...).
This is just plain non-sense. Also, there have been several posts about this, including one of a fellow member who called BMW M and spoke with an engineer there about several matters, including the braking. His responses are enlighteningh enough...
 

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There have now been multiple comments from highly respected magazines in Europe, i.e. EVO and CAR, (and now Autocar it seems), alluding to what they perceive as potential problems with the brakes on the M5, and hence M6. Most comments have stated that while the brakes perform very well initially, the testers were soon noticing 'fade' after a relatively short period of time.

Poor brakes are a chronic problem with BMW's, and it is a shame that the M Division cannot for a few hundred $'s more outfit their vehicles with World class brakes.

A good braking system entails far more than the ability to stop once or twice well from high speeds. The best high performance systems can stop well, REPEATEDLY, without fade. This aspect of braking performance is best noticed during track driving, or during the mountainous test driving that some of the European writers have been able to do.

The simple fact is that once again, BMW have taken the cheap way out with the M5's brakes; it's a real shame imho, and is the one true disappointment in the overall mechanical package which is otherwise superb; (a pity one can't say that about the external/internal look of the car though!).
 

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Isn't it possible that BMW M has designed their brakes for street, not track use? I've never had the brakes in any M car fade on the street. Even at the Driving Experiences I could not get the brakes to fade, and that was with the Z8 (using the E38 750 brakes). The excercises were relatively short though.

I'd love to get a really good explanation on the benefits and detriments of the different brake systems, but as I understand it, you can't just say this brake has 4 piston calipers or 2 piston and that initself makes the system better or worse- like everything else its a balancing of factors. You know what, Dave Z would be a good guy to ask. I will see if he can provide some insights....
 

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The real issue here Jerry is that Porsche brakes are 'designed' for the street also, BUT they don't fade at the track, (at least at the usual DE type of events most of us would use our M cars for). Both my '01 M5 and then my '02 M3 had pathetic brakes for DE events, whereas I've never had a problem with the brakes on either of the Porsches I've owned, or a '99 E55 for that matter. Further, no other high performance car that I am aware of has the type of brakes that BMW cling to. Every other system is using multiple pistons, pads, etc., in order to reduce the effect of fade imho. The resistence to fade IS a component of a high performances car's braking system, or at least should be!
 
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There are plenty of excellent after-market options available, and I am sure that many M5 owners will move up to some Brembos. The M5 is great out of the box, but as with any product, BMW has to set certain cost limits when it comes to anything that it produces. The M5 is built for the "average" M5 owner, while many in the motoring press and on this messageboard like to push the limits just a bit further.

Cheers, Daniel
 

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Well, I for one won't let "concerns" about brakes bother me. If I get the car and have issues, I will address them. But so far I have had no issues with brakes in either of my cars.

I think they should have put something better on as much for appearance and marketting as for performance.
 

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Having "too much" braking power is a good thing. I have a right foot that can get me into trouble. Porsche, in their sales literature for the 911 turbo, claim the brakes are four times as powerful as the engine. That, to me, is a beautiful thing. I'd hate to spend the rest of my life behind bars by hurting someone else on the street.

Does this mean that the 911 turbo brakes aren't well-designed for the street? Heck no; if anything they're "overdesigned" for street use, but again, too much is a good thing when it comes to braking power. It's just not the place to try to save money.

My next M5 will have 4- (or 6- or even :cool: pot brakes. Are all 4-piston calipers better than all 2? No! Are the best 4-pistons (i.e., StopTech, Brembo) better than the best 2-pistons? Absolutely. Don't kid yourself.
 

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Two track days ago when I had to bring the E46 in early. When I got out to check the front brakes, there was a small fire coming from the calipers :sad3: That ended my day early.

My last trip to Laguna consumed two sets of front brake pads and one set of front rotors in two days... My friends STi had no issues with the OEM brakes and pads and it cost ~$20k less.

I have no experience with the new M5 brakes. But the system on the E36, E39, and E46 all ran too high of temps when pushed hard. Its not the number of pistons that cause the problems, its rather a rotor that is too small and/or gets insufficiend air for cooling. This results in excessive temps. You can also argue that the pads BMW runs are a bit small compared to what they should be.

All that said, the rotors on the new M5/6 appear to be designed to get the job done for once. However, if they don't get enough airflow all that could be wasted. This is why I was happy when they ditched the fog lamps in exchange for more air, at least they seem to be taking it serious this time around.

The E34/36 seem to have stuck a good ballace between power, chassis, and brakes.

The E39/46 seem to have added lots of power without enough of an upgrade of the other bits. This resulted in good staight line cars but not up to the prior standards in twisty sections.

The E60/63/90, too early to tell. However, they seem to have reconized at least some of the previous gens mistakes. Did they fix them, time will tell.
 

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Enigma, I noticed your sig...

"The clutch pedal is a throwback to the days of carburation and OHV engines. It has served us well but its time to let go and embrace the future."

Did you know that OHV engines came out after OHC engines?
 

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MEnthusiast said:
So why would BMW do this? Accounting measure?
I can think of no rational reason why BMW would install sub-optimal brakes on their halo cars except that it maybe saves them some money. The ridiculous thing is, is that the rest of the mechanical package is absolutely 'cutting edge'. MWM is completely correct; brakes should be the 'best' component on any high performance car.
 

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Rickcoin said:
Did you know that OHV engines came out after OHC engines?
Yes, but there is a reason they are no longer used in most luxury and performance cars anymore :) Just because something came out latter doesn't make it better.
 

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thebishman said:
I can think of no rational reason why BMW would install sub-optimal brakes on their halo cars except that it maybe saves them some money. The ridiculous thing is, is that the rest of the mechanical package is absolutely 'cutting edge'. MWM is completely correct; brakes should be the 'best' component on any high performance car.
Im with both of you- but I would add the obvious: most important non human component in any car is tires. I bet is is $ related- but why bother with cross drilled rotors and not upgrade the calipers / pads / other brake components? We'll know soon enough. I just don't drive the cars so hard so I've never had the issues on the street- the fact that I didn't get them fading, or enough for me to notice at the DE & AMS is telling of my style (eg- I only have so much skill + nerve and my nerve goes out before my skill- but I just enjoy driving too much).
 
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