Q: Race Technologies | Brembo Official Partner: We approached Brembo Engineering with this question “Can I use Subaru WRX STI Brembo calipers (Original Equipment) on my Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S, or Toyota GT86?”.

A: Brembo Engineering: You cannot use 2002+ Subaru WRX STI Brembo O.E. (Original Equipment) calipers on either 2012+ Subaru BRZ, 2012+ Scion FR-S, or 2012+ Toyota GT86.

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Subaru WRX brake system: 4-piston calipers with 1-piece 326×30 rotors. Retails for $1,795

Here’s why:

  • Subaru WRX STI calipers are made to be mounted in the trailing position (behind the axle).  If mounted in front of the axle, by exchanging positions of the plugs and bleed screws on the caliper, it is not possible to bleed all the air out of the system because the fluid crossover in the caliper is the highest point and will trap air.  This leads to poor brake performance and a poor pedal feel.  If the calipers are mounted in front of the axle by putting the left hand STI caliper on the right side of the BRZ/FRS and vice versa, then the staggered pistons are in the wrong order, which leads to rapid and significant taper wear on the pad, which causes a number of other problems with the brake system.
  • The piston sizes of the WRX STI calipers are not appropriate for the BRZ/FRS, they are too large (resulting in a 25% increase in front).  This leads to a number of non-desireable side effects, including long brake pedal travel, greatly increased front brake bias, and ABS problems.

Officially Released Brembo Performance Upgrades for the BRZ/FR-S/GT86

Brembo had worked directly with Subaru to develop the WRX STI brake package. This OE (Original Equipment) brake system was designed within the manufacturers specific parameters which typically isn’t necessarily meant strictly for high performance use. Instead, this system has to cater to a wide range of requirements such as price, environment (rain, snow, or shine), and NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Harshness) which are related to your average user who will drive primarily on the street vs. significant track usage.

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Beyond Brembo OE are Brembo Performance upgrades which are designed specifically for modified cars with increased horsepower, aero, increased grip, or other enhancements. For these applications Brembo offers several solutions to match your cars performance requirements (you can consider these as “stages”, i.e. “stage 1 to stage 5”) which may also further extend into the Brembo Racing program.

Below is a listing of some of the benefits of a Brembo Performance system over a Brembo OE STI brake system. These are Brembo’s official offerings for the Scion FR-S, Toyota GT86, and Subaru BRZ.

  1. Increased capacity/brake torque: increased thermal capacity and increased effective brake torque. The Brembo OE STI rotor is a 326x30mm whereas the Brembo Performance options are 332x32mm, 345x28mm, or 355x32mm.
  2. Lightweight discs: a 2-piece disc (approx 16 lbs) is substantially lighter than a 1-piece iron rotor (roughly 22 lbs).
  3. Brake tuning: varying face designs allow for fine tuning: cross drilled discs have the highest initial bite out of any slot face although a slotted design (type I) helps with refreshing the pad surface.
  4. Lightweight caliper: the opposed 4 and 6-piston (vs. just a 4-piston) calipers are designed to be as lightweight as possible while being very stiff.
  5. Overall pad thickness: Brembo OE STI calipers use a standard 15 mm pad, and Brembo Performance calipers can accept up to an 18 mm pad depending on the exact caliper. With Brembo Club Race calipers, they can accept up to a 20 mm pad which is quite significant because this not only improves overall pad wear rates, but it also helps with overall pedal consistency (pads are also a barrier against heat transfer to the pistons).
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Notice the disc sizes offered range from 332×32, 345×28, and a 355×32. Also all of these discs are 2-piece discs which utilize a lightweight billet aluminum hard anodized bell with outer iron disc which is substantially lighter than a 1-piece solid iron rotor.

Brembo Performance GT Systems (street and track):

  1. (F) 6-piston monoblock, 2-piece 355x32mm, $3,995
  2. (F) 4-piston monoblock, 2-piece 345x28mm, $3,595
  3. (F) 4-piston, 332×32, 2-piece $3,595
  4. (R) 4-piston, monoblock, 2-piece 345x28mm, $3,695
  5. (R) 2-piston, 1-piece 316×20, $1,795

Brembo Performance GT equipped cars:

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  1.  The Fatlace Scion FR-S build. Click here for the full story

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There’s a drastic difference between a OE Brembo system which is designed within the constrictions set by the vehicle manufacturer, and a Brembo Performance GT-R system which is designed to offer the highest performance possible. One such example of that is the GT-R’s calipers are a billet CNC’d monobloc design with an extremely durable nickel plating. Additionally, this caliper is on par with a Brembo Racing component with its high thermal resistance, twin piston seals, and stainless steel ventilated piston inserts. This entire system has the broadest range of performance (street, track, and racing) than any other system offered on the market. This is the ultimate big brake system upgrade.

Brembo Performance GT-R Systems (street, track, race):

  1. (F) Billet/nickel plated 6-piston monoblock, 2-piece 355x32mm, $8,395
  2. (F) Billet/nickel plated 4-piston monoblock, 2-piece 345x28mm, $7,595
  3. (R) billet/nickel plated 4-piston, monoblock, 2-piece 345x28mm, $7,695

BREMBO-3K2-7001A

Designed specifically for track enthusiast while being a cost effective solution. This system offers several track specific features such as the calipers quick pad release, hard anodized finish, and stainless steel piston inserts for increased thermal resistance. The disc is a type III for high initial bite and quick release characteristics and a 72 vane count for high thermal capacity and heat dissipation.

Brembo Performance Race Systems (track and race):

  1. (F) Hard anodized with quick release 4-piston race caliper, 2-piece 355x32x54a, $3,895
  2. (F) Hard anodized with quick release 4-piston race caliper, 2-piece 332x32x54a, $3,895

Brembo Performance Race equipped cars:

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  1. The Meguiars NuR Concept Car by FRS BRZ Performance.com. Click here for the full story

No other high performance brake company can offer the expertise or range of product that Brembo offers.

You can find more information here.

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