As everybody knows, the brakes can never be good enough. Porsche has been known as a good manufacturer when it comes to stopping cars. They understand that every sports car, even the most basic model needs proper brakes to be enjoyable and reliable on demanding driving conditions.
The “Porsche Big Reds” from a 996 Turbo (4-pot brake calipers with 330 mm disks) have great status in the whole industry. For example almost everyone has seen some fast tuned cars equipped with these brakes. I can’t blame the racers and tuners because they really are that good!
But we have to remember that the 996 Turbo isn’t exactly lightweight, kerb weight being just a bit less than 1600 kgs. And they go like stink too. After some harder driving it’s quite simple to notice that the stopping power is still there but the driver just can’t be pleased with the initial bite and the softer pedal feel. Even though most owners are not irritated by the fact, I think something had to be done.
An easy solution for this seemed to be upgrading to racing brake pads. We chose the Pagid Yellows (RS19 and now the RS29) for their ultimate stopping capability. The car is on its second set of Pagids now. They might squeak on the street and aren’t that great when cold but you will appreciate them after some laps at the track. The huge initial bite and pedal feel is really something to go for. Everybody can notice the difference I’m talking about. Because of the awesomeness they should be highly recommended for all the sporty drivers, or should they?
Using racing pads on street car gives the driver a bit of headache too. The huge bite doesn’t come free. You will also notice why there’s a sticker “Not for road use” in the box. First, the pad material is so hard that the disks suffer. After the first set of RS19s new brake disks had to be ordered. Another annoying thing is that new Pagids straight from the box are thicker than the stock Porsche pads. After installation the pads will rub badly to the disks so they need some hard but short braking. Otherwise you can say goodbye to your brake disks.
As you notice, using pads like these is good, but not the best choice out there. I’m not sure about the future, one option is to go for the blue-coloured Pagids that are a bit softer but I doubt are they good enough. Big brake kits from Brembo or Porsche sound adequate and those might be something to look for. A friend of mine will be upgrading his 997 Turbo steel brakes (6-pot calipers with 350 mm disks) for the carbon version. Too bad the service manager of a local Porsche Centre just told today that the new Turbo brakes aren’t a straight bolt on for the older 996.
If you have any experience about upgrading the 996 Turbo brakes, write a comment or mail, thanks!