When it comes to brakes, well, most people know that discs are better than drums. After that things start to get the bit murky. And or example: Can you say what advantages slotted rotors have over the drilled rotors?
Also, what are the advantages of the vented design? If you can answer those questions easily than the latest Engineering Explained video probably isn’t for you. Well, that’s because it’s all about the differences between vented, drilled and the slotted rotors.
And as it turns out one of these brake designs is almost purely superficial. That would, of course, be drilled brake rotors. They look super cool but they actually don’t stand up to the high-stress situations as well as slotted rotors. On paper this idea sounds great: More heat can escape when the brake has little holes drilled into it than when it’s just one solid mass.
And we never stopped to think about all the downsides to such the design. Fortunately we have Engineering Explained to take us to school. And next time you see the car with drilled rotors on the street—take the Mercedes-AMG GT R for example—you will know that the brakes on it are for show.
Knowing this we wonder why manufacturers don’t just switch to the slotted rotors on high-performance vehicles. Then we remember that automakers have been putting form over function for years—see a massive wings some new vehicles are getting—and remember that looking cool is something people very willingly pay extra for.
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