words: Michel Fortier, photos: Etech Photo
Audi and Lamborghini supercars will be the latest beneficiaries of the world’s best brake rotors from Surface Transforms, next generation track-capable carbon ceramic rotors. Initial Audi and Lamborghini fitments will include the Audi R8, the Audi RS 5, the Lamborghini Hurácan, and the Lamborghini Gallardo. Surface Transforms currently offers a multitude of fitments for Porsche, McClaren, Ferrari, Ford GT, Nissan GT-R, Aston Martin, and Mercedes Benz AMG GT-S and GTR.
The Surface Transforms brake rotors, featuring continuous fiber reinforced ceramic, overcome all of the downsides of traditional cast chopped carbon fiber discs, including their astronomical price, NVH and accelerated wear on-track while vastly expanding on their performance and longevity.
Rotors are priced at approximately half the cost of original equipment discs offering substantial savings for those looking to track their vehicles or replace iron rotors with higher performing carbon ceramic rotors.
Surface Transforms carbon ceramic brakes have an average track life of 4,000-5,000 miles before needing a refurbishment, shed heat at 3X that of a chopped carbon fiber rotor and have all the weight benefits of the traditional carbon ceramic brakes all while utilizing readily available brake pads from Pagid and others.
LeMans winner Price Cobb has been intimately involved with bringing the superior performance of Surface Transforms rotors to enthusiasts in America and is familiar with the technical development of carbon ceramic rotors over the years.
“Early in my professional racing career I was involved testing the new technology carbon brake rotors. These pure carbon brakes worked wonderfully in a racing environment but were lacking in the more common street driven environment,” said Cobb. “This deficit in the street car environment is why the carbon-ceramic rotor came to pass and it wasn’t long before consumers could see that the standard Carbon Ceramic rotor couldn’t stand up to prolonged hard use”
According to Cobb, their shortfalls are due in large part to the construction and manufacturing method of the OE (Original Equipment) rotors.
“Along came the folks at Surface Transforms who created a new process altogether, giving their rotors long life, the ability to withstand elevated track temps, as well as the ability to be resurfaced. No matter how you look at it or compare them, the technology found in the Surface Transforms rotors surpasses all the standard OE carbon ceramic rotors handily both on and off the track!”
McLaren feels the same way and now offers a “track brake upgrade” which consists of Surface Transforms rotors at all four corners with matching brake pads. Fully two thirds of McClaren’s spectacular Senna were specified with this optional package and now a larger group of enthusiasts, including Audi and Lamborghini owners, can take advantage of Surface Transforms rotors.
Due to their increased thermal-shedding ability, Surface Transforms rotors can also be used to replace heavy, wear-prone iron discs on base brake package-equipped cars with no need to change calipers. This makes the upgrade path to carbon ceramic brakes attainable at a reasonable monetary and technical cost.
Unlike old-school chopped carbon fiber brakes supplied as OE equipment on many supercars, Surface Transforms rotors can go through a machining process to refurbish the discs at an affordable price. Original equipment cast, chopped carbon fiber rotors are discarded when worn, accompanied by an eye-watering bill to replace them. Most Surface Transforms rotors come in at half the asking price of a new set of OE rotors while again offering increased wear resistance, even on track.
Owners who either refused to track their supercars or switched to less effective iron rotors for track sessions now have a superior option with no need to swap discs just for a weekend visit to the track. Surface Transforms discs work just as well on the street. It’s a win on performance, durability and financially.
Surface Transforms rotors are distributed in the U.S. by HCF Brake Systems out of Austin, Texas with Red Mist Racing, LLC helping bring fitments for the Audi and Lamborghini models online. Red Mist Racing, LLC worked with Matt Einstein in fitting his 2018 Audi R8 RWD with Surface Transforms rotors and Pagid RSC1 discs before heading out to Virginia International Raceway for a track day with the Chin Motorsports group.
The outing was a smashing success with zero brake fade and a rather massive drop in lap times. Einstein was able to achieve the braking confidence he was looking for over the original iron rotors. Next time out will provide an opportunity to test different pads to see if there is an advantage. As is, the combination of the Surface Transforms rotors and Pagid RSC1 pads allowed the owner to drive to the track, enjoy a great track day and then home again without the need to swap rotors or pads.