If you're the annoying, indecisive type, you might have a hard time choosing brakes. You could find yourself constantly debating on whether you should just upgrade your pads, rotors, or maybe both. Oh, and do you want the rotors cross-drilled, slotted, or both? What material should those pads be made out of? What about a big brake kit? How big? Sure, the brakes the factory supplied will do the job just fine when you're scooting to and from your local Whole Foods, but when you get into track driving, no matter how much horsepower your car is pushing, a brake upgrade is imperative. Of course, another bonus is that they look vastly superior when compared to your factory brakes. It was tough, but I made my final decision and then promptly headed over to Auto Tuned in Monrovia, Calif., to get my new BBK installed.
For my personal project Scion FR-S I went with Italian braking company Tarox. Stunt driver Gianni Taroni formed the company in '76 when he needed better brakes. Like all great innovators, Taroni had no choice but to develop a solution himself and after four years, a Tarox-equipped car won the Formula 1 Belgium Grand Prix and eventually the world championship two years later. Gianni's mantra was "the constant research of the ultimate braking performance." In '90, Tarox would produce its first fully bolt-on upgrade for a road car, the BMW E30 M3. The B32-6 caliper that's used on my FR-S is a direct descendant of the original Tarox road kit caliper.
The installation is the standard procedure, but what you might find different are the caliper brackets, which are mounted behind the suspension upright. According to Young Tea of Auto Tuned, most BBK kits have caliper brackets in front of the suspension upright. I opted for the 6-piston caliper with a 326mm Sport Japan Style (drilled and slotted) single piece rotor with Tarox's "Corsa" pad compound, suitable for every day street use and track days. For the rear I matched the Sport Japan Style rotors, but went with a "Strada" brake compound designed for fast road use.
We noticed that the Tarox calipers had more pistons than similar sized calipers. Tarox says its 6-piston caliper has smaller than usual pistons, but with a total surface area similar to a typical 4-pot caliper. This results in better pad engagement with the rotor and a more precise pedal feel. The compact caliper is designed for better wheel clearance and weight reduction. We weighed the Tarox caliper and found that it was four pounds lighter than the factory brakes. The rotors are manufactured from high-carbon steel castings or billets. They are machined, heat treated for strength and finally hand surfaced and balanced to optimize friction surface. It's worth noting that these kits go through the tough standard TUV testing in Germany as well.
On the street I didn't notice a big difference in stopping power, simply because I live in Los Angeles where traffic won't let you go faster than 30mph. I will however be participating in our new 86 Showdown event and measuring the braking power from 60-0 real quick!