There are only a few manufacturers on that planet that are so important and so specialized that their production of a brake caliper would warrant any amount of attention. Bugatti is one of those few. After premiering a 3D-printed titanium caliper early in 2018, Volkswagen Group released a video of engineers putting the new design to extreme speed and heat testing. Spoiler alert: flames and sparks are involved.
Bugatti had a lot of claims and planted a lot of flags when it first showed this caliper. “World’s first brake caliper to be produced by a 3D printer. Largest brake caliper in the automotive industry as a whole. First series manufacturer to use titanium. Largest titanium functional component produced by 3D printing in the world.” Long story short, it’s a big deal, but it is not yet stamped as ready for production. That’s what the testing seen here is for.
The video, which was brought to our attention by Motor1, shows the brake caliper in action, not on a car but in a lab. VW claims it’s one of the most powerful brake test benches on the market, which we’re inclined to believe considering the groundbreaking technology that has come from its Veyron, Chiron and Divo supercars.
The test is exactly what you’d expect. They put the caliper onto a rotor, which is attached to a machine that spins the rotor and has all sorts of sensors that show the engineers the specs of the test. The video shows it spinning up to speeds in excess of 230 mph multiple times. The disc temperature skyrockets to 1,877 degrees Fahrenheit on the third spin, which elicits a light show of thermal heat, sparks, and flames. The engineers then take off the caliper and show the camera that everything is still in place and intact.
The video does not clear the caliper for production, but it certainly looks like its getting close to that point. The package will likely debut for the Chiron, the Divo, or both and will most definitely cost thousands and thousands of dollars.