APR MQB 350mm Big Brake Kit - SMC
This is a long read, but, it's worth it.
Fitment Note - for Small Master Cylinder cars!
- 2015+ Audi A3, TT
- 2015+ VW Golf, GTI (non-PP), Sportwagen, Alltrack, Arteon, GLI, Tiguan
APR’s Big Brake Kit Upgrades are ultra-durable, feature-packed solutions specifically tailored to each vehicle. The brakes provide outstanding stopping-power at an affordable price and are targeted towards a wide operating range, such as normal spirited street driving, track days, and HPDE events. All of our systems handily out-brake, out-last, and out-perform many systems on the market with ease. They obliterate massive factory brake systems, such as those found on the Audi RS3. Simply put, few can come close to matching the features and price point we offer with our systems. Whereas most systems on the market either make heavy sacrifices to either look fancy, cut weight, or cut costs, the APR system is designed to simply brake better, last longer, and stand the test of time.
- Large six-piston, billet-aluminum calipers with high-tensile cross-bolts for maximum rigidity
- Larger, wider 350x34mm or 380x34mm floating 2-piece rotor assemblies with high-density directional cooling veins and billet aluminum hats
- Rotor slot pattern specifically designed to evenly distribute heat across the rotor surface and increase initial brake response (bite) while maintaining quiet, smooth operation over a wide application range
- Rotors are coated with a proprietary black, anti-contamination finish ensuring that no oils are transferred to the brake pads
- Billet-aluminum caliper mounting brackets featuring stainless steel thread inserts for the radial mount bolts to ensure maximum durability
- Stainless-steel braided-Teflon brake lines
- Proprietary high-performance street pads included in a standard replacement shape (optional pads available)
- Lighter than factory brakes, but not so light as to introduce excessive NVH (Noise, vibration, harshness), which can occur with ultra-lightweight brake kits
- Extreme UV & temperature resistant European anodizing dyes for best color retention
- Hand-polished, mirror-finished, stainless steel pistons which reduce the rate of heat transfer to the caliper seals and brake fluid by a factor of 10 when compared to the aluminum pistons found in many other calipers
- Ultra-high temperature and pressure internal wiper seals. The internal wiper seals ensure best service life under daily street driving conditions and will also not be damaged during track day use (as is the case with the external dust boots used in many other calipers)
- All stainless-steel hardware for long-term durability and corrosion resistance
- Seamless CuNi fluid crossover tubes for maximum corrosion and vibration resistance
- Pad pre-tensioning system designed to reduce brake noise and squeal
- Maximum Temperature Recording (MTR) devices on calipers and rotors
- Laser etched logos which will not be damaged by brake fluid, or solvents (as is the case with the painted logos often used on aftermarket calipers)
- Designed, engineered, and manufactured in South Africa by the experts at Powerbrake
Included Brake Pads: High-Performance Street
Specifically designed for use in high-performance street applications and one of the best high-performance street pads on the world market at the moment. This compound beds-in quickly and delivers strong brake performance over a wide temperature range. The material exhibits a strong initial bite as you engage the brake pedal followed by a slightly rising torque curve during a single brake application. This slight rise in brake torque in the mid-late stages of a brake application makes use of the additional front tire grip available after weight transfer has occurred during a typical (medium-hard) brake application. This delivers optimal stopping distances when tested on street cars running high-performance street tires. The compound features a high average friction co-efficient and delivers reduced stopping distances as well as improved fade resistance when compared to most OEM and aftermarket high-performance street pads.
- Optimal temperature range: 0-500 deg C (0-932 deg F)
- Best choice for most high-performance street applications
- Not recommended for track day use at all
Optional Brake Pads: Advanced Street / Entry-Level Track Day
This compound will offer similar characteristics to our High-performance Street compound in terms of having a slightly rising torque curve during a single application. It will offer a little less initial bite as you engage the brake pedal under normal street driving conditions. This material also takes a little longer to bed in and prefers to be run at slightly higher operating temperatures in order to maintain the friction film that is put down on the disc surface during the bed-in procedure. This material can be run to higher max operating temperatures than our standard High-Performance Street compound while remaining fade-free. The additional heat range means that this compound can be used for entry-level track days. This makes this material a good choice for customers that would like to take part in occasional track days but do not want to change pads prior to these events.
- Optimal temperature range: 0-630 deg C (0-1166 deg F)
- Best choice for customers that want to use one pad for high-performance street and entry-level track day use
- Acceptable for entry-level track day use but pad wear will be high if used for advanced track applications
Optional Brake Pads: Advanced Street / Entry-Level Track Day
This compound is specifically aimed at advanced track day users and offers full race performance under track conditions. While it can be used to drive to and from the track, some brake squeal will be experienced during street driving. It is not recommended that this pad material be used for extended daily street use as accelerated disc wear and brake noise will be experienced during daily street driving. On track this compound will offer unmatched brake performance and fade resistance and will be a significant step up over our Advanced Street / Entry-level Track Day compound. The material remains kind to discs under track conditions and pad wear is low. It has a slightly rising torque curve and modulation remains excellent. A mechanical retention system is employed between the pad backing plate and the friction material for maximum shear resistance during high-temperature use. Advanced track day users will really appreciate the characteristics, performance and wear life that this compound offers. For advanced track day customers that also use their car as a daily driver we suggest a two-pad strategy in which you run our High-Performance Street compound for daily street use and then switch to our Advanced Track Day material for track events.
- Optimal temperature range: 100-800 deg C (212-1472 deg F)
- Best choice for advanced track day use
- Can be used to drive to and from track events but brake squeal and increased disc wear will be experienced if used for daily street driving
APR calipers are CNC-machined from aerospace-grade aluminum billets at Powerbrake’s in house manufacturing facility and offer extreme strength and rigidity. This is thanks due in part to the material and construction, as well as the FEA enhanced design. The caliper design offers the optimal balance between weight reduction and maintaining smooth, quiet braking. Removing too much weight from a caliper can lead to increased levels of noise, vibration and harshness under braking. The APR caliper has been specifically designed for street tuners and track day enthusiasts that want maximum brake performance, while maintaining low levels of noise, vibration and harshness. The APR calipers are also significantly lighter than the factory calipers, while maintaining smooth, quiet operation. While the design reduces weight, It’s important critical weight is left in place to ensure the calipers don’t cause excessive NVH, as is all too common with many of the fancy weight saving designs on the market today. Simply put, cutting away too much of the caliper for weight savings and appearance causes heavy sacrifices in rigidity and NVH with mostly immeasurable performance gains.
Caliper Surface Finish
Our brakes are anodized with proprietary anodizing dyes that offer maximum UV resistance and color fastness, and handily out performs other anodizing methods on the market today. The surface finish is designed to retain its color even under extreme temperatures seen during track day conditions. This runs contrary to powder coat or epoxy paint finishes which tend to discolor, brown, or burn. Likewise, compared to other finishes our brakes are not damaged by brake fluid or most brake cleaners and solvents. Our logo is laser etched onto the caliper as opposed to the painted logos commonly used by many other caliper manufacturers. Again, our logo will not be affected by brake fluid or brake cleaners in the same way that painted logos will.
Our calipers use high-tensile caliper cross-bolts that are manufactured in Europe. The bolts greatly increase caliper rigidity while adding minimal weight. The calipers are significantly more rigid than most factory or aftermarket Monoblock calipers that are typically cast or forged from 2000, 6000, or 7000 series aluminum alloys. This method is only bested by extremely expensive alloy grades not commercially available at an affordable price point in the aftermarket. Simply put high level race car Monoblock calipers, such as those found in F1, are not made from the same material you find on affordable street brakes. The bolts used in our calipers are coated with a proprietary high-tech black coating which offers exceptional corrosion resistance, while not negatively affecting bolt strength. Lastly, the bolts are installed inboard, giving the outboard caliper face a clean and uncluttered look when viewed through the wheel.
All caliper component hardware, other than the cross-bolts, are manufactured from stainless steel. This ensures the highest level of corrosion resistance and is rare in aftermarket brakes.
Caliper Fluid Crossover Tubes
The seamless fluid crossover tubes are manufactured from CuNi alloy. This material handles high-frequency vibrations vastly better than coated or stainless steel tubs as are commonly used in the industry. It’s common for other materials to split along the seams. Lastly the fluid crossovers are fitted with a high temperature silicone sheath and pulled against the caliper bridge to further dampen vibrations and protect the tubes.
Internal Wiper Seals
APR Calipers have an internal wiper seal in the caliper body and around the pistons to protect the pressure seal from possible external debris. This also avoids using a rubber boot that often melts and is damaged when high heat is generated under heavy consecutive brake cycles.
Caliper Maximum Temperature Recording (MTR) System
This system provide a permanent record of the maximum operating temperature reached by the caliper. This handily outdoes using a handheld pyrometer once the vehicle is in the pits as temperature is recorded during actual operation. The data can prove invaluable when choosing the correct brake fluid.
The discs used in our big brake kits are cast from a proprietary high-carbon cast iron alloy that provides excellent durability and stability under the high thermal loads experienced during spirited driving or track day driving. The discs in our 2-piece kits feature our curved, directional, cooling vane design that increases cooling vane surface area for optimal cooling. The design also features robust disc plate walls to increase the thermal storage capacity of the discs. This is especially important during spirited driving and track day cars that are generating high brake temperatures but that are not fitted with brake cooling ducts that duct cool air from high pressure zones on the front of the car (as is often the case with true race cars). The truth is that very few fast road and track day enthusiasts will ever run brake cooling ducts as they typically require modification to the car's front end. In this case the robust disc plate walls employed in our 2-piece disc design are a real advantage in terms of thermal storage capacity, durability and service life of the disc. Lastly, we do not sacrifice cooling capacity for weight like many systems on the market using thinner discs and/or far fewer cooling vanes. The benefits from the weight loss are vastly countered by increased braking capacity.
The disc surface pattern provides an excellent balance between functional aspects such as efficient removal of friction gasses, carbonized pad material, water when driving in the rain, and practical aspects such as a good balance between strong initial bite and low NVH (noise, vibration, harshness). The slot pattern also provides good bite and release characterizes perfectly suited to the crossover street and entry-level track roll intended for our brake kits. Every single disc assembly is measured for run-out and disk thickness variations (DTV) using Swiss measuring equipment. When it comes to QC, there is no batch or statistical quality checking of our discs. Every single disc is measured and our machining tolerances are up to three times tighter than the industry norm.
Disc Surface Finish
All discs are coated with a proprietary black surface coating. The discs are chemically de-greased before the application to ensure no machining fluids or other contaminants are present on the discs as these can get absorbed by the pads and negatively affect brake performance. The coating is able to withstand high temperatures and is flexible enough to expand and contract without flaking or peeling. The discs require no cleaning or preparation before install. The black coating will be removed by the brake pads in the tracked area within a few brake cycles, while the unwept areas will remain coated, providing additional corrosion protection and an attractive appearance.
Disc Maximum Temperature Recording (MTR) System
Our MTR system provides permanent a permanent record of peak operating temperatures reached by the discs under actual driving. This information is extremely valuable when selecting the correct pad compound for your application. Each tab will change color when the temperature range is met. The longer red tab will provide a color gradient chart to further refine specific temperatures. Blue turns brown at 527 F. Green turns white at 860 F. Orange turns yellow at 1022 F. Pink turns white at 1166 F. Lastly the longer red strip turns various shades from 219 F to 2318 F.
The lightweight disc hats are assembled and machined from solid billet high grade aluminum alloy, creating an extremely strong part at a lower weight. All hats undergo FEA strength and thermal analysis to confirm strength and rigidity under load. The hats feature a type-3 mil-spec hard anodize for maximum durability and service life. All logos and markings are laser etched.
Disc Floating System
Race proven over many years of use, the floating system allows the disc friction ring to expand and contract radially without any restrictions as it heats and cools. This significantly reduces stress on the ring and hat and reduces the chance of disc distortion and cracking, while maintaining a consistent brake pedal feel. Contrary to most race oriented setups, we were very mindful of NVH under street driving conditions. Our float system runs very quietly during day to day driving.
Caliper Mounting Brackets
The brackets are machined from billet aircraft grade aluminum alloy, FEA enhanced for strength and rigidity, and type-3 mil-spec hard anodized. They feature stainless steel thread inserts in the radial mount holes. Since the calipers feature an FEA enhanced design with a reinforced bridge, the two caliper radial mount bolts are removed during a pad change. The thread inserts, which are used extensively in the aerospace industry,are stronger and more wear resistant than threads cut directly into the aluminum resulting in significantly increased service life. Also, the "self-locking" property of the thread inserts means that no thread lockers, or locking fluids are required on the caliper mounting bolts as long as these bolts are torqued correctly. Combined with the proprietary coating, the bolts have excellent lubricity properties and provide excellent torque accuracy. They are very easy to assemble and disassemble quickly compared to other setups.
Our brake lines feature an extruded Teflon inner lining that is highly resistant to the aggressive chemical properties of modern brake fluids. Furthermore, they can handle far higher temperatures than rubber. Teflon lining is covered by 32 strands of tightly woven stainless steel braids that act as the muscle of the hose, providing excellent resistance to expansion under pressure. The lines are covered with a polymeric outer layer that prevents dirt from getting between the braids and the inner lining. The end fittings are machined from 304 stainless steel, as opposed to the plated, mild steel fittings common on other systems. Simply put, our hoses provide the best possible pedal feel, matched to excellent durability and corrosion resistance.
Brake Simulation Software
Each APR big brake kit is tailored to the specific vehicle. This involves careful software modelling of correct brake balance, brake torque outputs and pedal feel using our proprietary brake simulation software. The software allows us to enter all aspects of the factory brake system on the car as well as all key data affecting chassis dynamics under braking. Our engineers can then simulate braking events at various negative G's and analyze dynamic weight transfer for the chassis in question. They are then able to perfectly optimize the brake torque outputs delivered by our big brake kit by changing disc diameters, caliper piston ratios and brake pad friction coefficient. The result is that the caliper piston diameters / ratios, disc sizes and pad compounds in each kit are tailored to the vehicle platform in question. Our big brake kits will perfectly integrate with the ABS, EBD and other stability control systems on the vehicle. When driving a car fitted with an APR big brake kit, you will feel this attention to detail coming through by the way that the vehicle’s chassis reacts under braking.