In the footsteps of Porsche and Mercedes-Benz, Audi will be offering ceramic brakes on the W12 versions of its A8 saloon. Could this be indicative of more widespread use of this - currently expensive - technology?

In the footsteps of Porsche (GT2, Carrera GT and optional on Carrera), Mercedes-Benz (SLR McLaren), Audi will be offering ceramic brakes on the W12 versions of its A8 saloon. Could this be indicative of more widespread use of this - currently expensive - technology?

The new ceramic brake will be available as an option on the A8 W12 from July 2005. Although it has also been made available for the long-wheelbase version of the A8, this model remains unavailable in South Africa.

Made from reinforced ceramic, it is claimed the brake service life compared with conventional steel discs is quadrupled and the service life of up to 300 000 km under "ordinary" conditions is expected. The degree of wear over the brake's service life is estimated to be about 0,5 mm.

The brakes are more fade-resistant and its lightweight structure (about five kg per wheel) contributes to improved overall ride comfort.

On the A8, the discs have a diameter of 380 mm at the front and 356 mm at the rear. The Audi's stopping power is ensured by the use of Brembo six-piston monoblock aluminium callipers at the front and sliding-calliper brakes at the rear.