MUNICH, Germany -- Audi AG will offer carbon ceramic brakes on the A8 sedan starting this month. That makes Audi the fourth automaker after Porsche AG, Ferrari and Mercedes to offer the high-performance option.
Ceramic braking discs are much lighter than regular brakes - about 11 pounds a wheel in the Audi A8, compared with 22 pounds for regular metal discs. They do not rust and typically last about four times as long as conventional steel brakes. Audi claims they can last about 186,000 miles under standard braking conditions.
The technology was inspired by the carbon brakes used in Formula One racing. Composite ceramic brakes debuted on a production car in 2001 when Porsche offered them as an option on the 911 car. Since 2004 the option also is available on the Boxster. Porsche charges $9,443 for the technology, which is standard on the $545,944 Carrera GT supercar.
SGL Carbon of Wiesbaden, Germany, supplies the brakes to Audi and Porsche.
Italy's Brembo S.p.A. supplies ceramic brakes to Ferrari and Mercedes.
Ferrari introduced ceramic brakes as standard equipment on the 2002 Enzo limited edition. The technology is a $16,643 option on the F430 and is part of the $28,220 handling package available for the 575M Maranello and 612 Scaglietti.