Quick review on Carbotech Panther Plus brake pads
Most of the same content is posted in the DIY forum, so if you're interested in more you can read it there too.
First of all, compared to OEM and Pagid pads these are DRAMATIC improvement, despite the fact the rear rotors aren't even biting due to a slightly lipped rotor. Fronts are fine but that's producing some brake DIVE. I will probably wait a few months before I take it on a track to really give it a work out.
Big plus for the cold stopping power. For most track or high perf pads, they're scary when cold. The Panther Plus has good initial bite when cold, almost as good as OEM pads if not better. Bigger plus for the cost...For higher performance TRACK pads these cost ~$230 including shipping. Bav Auto, TMS, and BMP D all charge about $300 a set for their high perf pads. About the same retail price as Performance Friction pads which Raffi really likes.
Minus for build quality. No place to put the brake wear sensor. Dusting is moderate, slightly worse than OEM from one day's use...I'm sure these will dust like a b***h on the track. The Carbotech guys were pretty honest in telling me that the big drawback with these high carbon content compound is the dusting. It is also noisier than stock and even the Pagids, which were pretty noisy to start with. I get a subtle FedEx truck like squeal when coming to a soft stop, it goes away after a hard brake application. Nothing like Raffi's PF's though, his car sounds like a train trying to stop and you can hear him coming a few blocks away. Stuka and I are now referring to Raffi's car as the FedEx truck now.
The Coefficient of Friction numbers are pretty impressive. It's .54-.58 within the operating temperature range. The Panther XP is .56-.60. My initial few stops confirm these figures. These pads are incredibly grabby. It almost feels like I've got a big brake kit on, it can easily brake the limit of adhesion on the S-03s which is kinda scary considering how incredibly sticky the S-03s are. Like I stated in the other thread, the Pagids require a significant pedal input to activate the ABS brakes, while these require moderate input.
Another big plus is how LINEAR the pad feels. The amount of braking is almost perfectly in proportion with pedal pressure once the pad is warmed up. I can easily control where the threshold is before it activates the ABS brakes which is very re-assuring. An odd behavior, which I have not experienced with OEM or the Pagid, is how it transitions from cold to hot. Coming off the freeway (after cruising for about 10 minutes without touching the brake at 80-85mph), on a long braking application it will go from cold to hot VERY QUICK and from moderately grabby and transisition to very grabby without moving the pedal. It was a very subtle effect but odd none the less. On the track it'll obviously be in operating temperature range all the time...I wonder if other people running performance pads have experienced this on the street.
On a very short term review, I give the pads a 9 out of 10. I will report back on a long term review after a few sessions on the track and also the wear of the pad and how dusty/noisy it is.
"Bench racing" about track times driven by professionals are like a bunch of nerds arguing which Princess Leia is hotter, the slave Leia or the no-bra jail-bait Leia. No matter how compelling your argument is, the plain and simple fact is, none of you will EVER get to hit that.