Of all the various integrated systems in a performance vehicle, braking systems are the most overlooked. During periods of heavy braking, most drivers have to reconsider their decision to put off a brake system upgrade when their brakes start to under-perform. Out of the different performance brake rotors on the market, there are two main types; "drilled and slotted" and just "slotted". The scope of this article is to find out which of the two is the best for your needs.
In order to decide which of the two brake pads types to choose from, you must understand what each can do in terms of increasing braking performance. The goal here, when doing either upgrade, is to increase braking capacity and / or brake pad grip. Both designs offer different degrees of each.
You will see most race vehicles using slotted rotors exclusively. This is due to the designs' reliability and ability to increase the stopping power through friction gains. The slots on these performance brakes are designed to aid cooling through added circulation as well, and increase pad bite by offering an edge on the rotor.
This second type of brake pad, the slotted and drilled variety, will actually do what the slotted rotors do and more. Cross drilling of the brakes performed at the factory improves cooling of the brake metal during operation, and clears water during wet weather operation. Race vehicles typically do not have these drill sites as they cause a reduced capacity to retain heat overall through mass reduction.
When trying to decide what types of performance brake rotors to choose from for your particular application, you should look at a couple different things. First off, in any racing or aggressive driving application where brakes are used heavily and over an extended period of time, slotted rotors should be your only choice for maximum thermal heat capacity. Aggressive race tracks usage can cause your braking system to overheat and fade prematurely when using heavily drilled rotors.
If you're a typical street driver that needs high performance braking in short intervals, then you should choose the drilled and slotted variety of this performance sports brake, as they will have the greater amount of thermal heat dissipation. Drilled and slotted rotors dissipate heat faster than slotted designs alone because of the increased amount of surface area. Because hot brake rotors hold a lower coefficient of friction than cool ones do, brake rotor design will directly impact the stopping power of a performance vehicle overall. Drilled and slotted rotors can dissipate heat faster than slotted types, and will carry a higher coefficient of friction as a norm.
No matter what you choose, a high performance vehicle that is involved in aggressive driving should always be utilizing an upgraded braking system. High performance brake rotors will greatly improve how vehicles braking system performances, and should be standard for any highly modified ride.