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Building bespoke engines, custom carbon body panels and tailored interiors is certainly no walk in the park, but while KALMAR Automotive does all that and more, the ethos of what we’re all about is perhaps best explained by our unique braking system. Why not take a break from doomscrolling (pardon the pun) to find out why?

In a world where even the top car manufacturers, use off-the-shelf parts shared with each other, KALMAR Automotive has gone one better by developing our own braking system. Call us crazy if you will, but in much the same fashion as our exterior, interior and engine upgrades, our bespoke brake system applies modern day thinking to classic car problems. The result is technology that increases performance and efficiency while also looking pretty damn cool. Even if we do say so ourselves!

The KALMAR Automotive team collaborated with our friends at CARBO Brake. Together, our goal was to develop a tailor-made braking solution for use on our custom automotive creations. It required all our road-going, motorsport and off-road know-how as, above all else, the most important factor was precise pedal feel for the driver, creating confidence in what is happening under foot with a prompt and linear response to inputs when it matters. What emerged was a set of bespoke four-piston brake callipers for both front and rear, proudly bearing the KALMAR logo, which accept our pads and bespoke 350mm carbon ceramic or steel discs – depending on customer preference.

Let’s start with the pistons. There’s no steel in here, they’re machined from billet titanium before being treated to a special “diamond-like carbon” coating to increase strength, wear resistance and smoothness. Titanium pistons also happen to offer excellent thermal resistance to preserve the brake fluid from boiling; acting as a natural heat barrier, the coating reduces the friction coefficient between the calliper body and the pistons, delivering smoother pedal feel and requiring less force from the foot under braking.

While we’re talking resilience, the alloys in our callipers are exceptionally tough while also being lightweight. The rear callipers weigh just 1.8kg – some 51 per cent lighter than the original 993 example – while the fronts tip the scales at 2.0kg – 44 per cent lighter than a factory 993. Of course, unsprung mass is reduced too, with almost 10kg of rotating mass lost. In addition, the stiffness of our callipers is similar to that found on top level single seater racing cars. The body of the calliper itself is crafted from special motorsport-grade forged aluminium before being CNC machined. It is also nickel plated to provide an additional heat barrier and as a result, it is capable of a working temperature between 200 and 300°C. This is a whopping 200 per cent more than rival cast or forged aluminium products on the market.

What else? Fluids are piped internally, not around the outside through steel piping as you might expect, which ensures there’s no risk of leakage or pipe damage and also provides a clean and sleek aesthetic – just as we like it. Oh, and we use titanium screws of unique design, too; these increase stuffiness in the calliper body and allow us to fit 350mm discs behind 17-inch rims.

While those who prefer cast-iron discs won’t be disappointed, our ceramic brake discs are pretty special. With their aluminium bell housings, the fronts weigh 5kg (49 per cent less than an OEM 993 equivalent) and the rears come in at 4.5kg (45 per cent less than those found on the 993).

Have you heard of ‘silicon-infiltration technology’? Don’t worry, all you need to know is that the carbon ceramic discs have a high friction coefficient making them perfect for everything from circuit racing to popping to the shops. A unique triple flow design helps cool both inner and outer braking surface, improving cooling efficiency. The finishing touch is two different types of pad material depending on preference – Sport or Race, the former ideal for everyday use. In testing, our discs reached temperatures of 854°C after 30 consecutive stops with deceleration forces of between 0.8 and 1.3G. With no brake booster, our testers regularly hit an average of almost 1.1G from speeds as high as 160km/h (100mph), reporting exceptional feel on the pedal.

We wanted a braking system that screamed ‘KALMAR’ and we got it. But of course, it didn’t end there. Have we told you about the time we created our own brake booster solution? No? Well, that will have to wait for another day…


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