The next logical step in the build would be to upgrade the factory braking system. For this we worked with our partner, Volkswagen Racing UK, to source the VWR Performance 6-Piston, 352 mm x 32 mm 2 Piece Brake System. After months of testing on max, APR vehicles in the UK, and on our vehicles here in the US, we were pleased to finally release the finished product. You can see it here: http://www.goapr.com/products/brakes_vwr_vag_a5.html
APR is the title sponsor of the Volkswagen Racing Cup, which is a racing series run by Volkswagen Racing UK. Through the program, many different high end products have made their way from the track to the street and this braking system is one fine example.
If you’ve ever driven around a track, you’ll know after just 1 or 2 laps, the brakes begin to fade. Even if you’ve never hit the track, if you’ve driven spiritedly on back roads, you’ll experience fade. Fade feels like the brakes simply don’t want to stop the vehicle. VWR setout to cure this issue the best they could by using off the shelf components found in many brake kits on the market today. The problems they encountered were the parts simply were not up to the test in all the areas they needed. So, they developed their own with OEM and racing brake manufacture Caparo AP, just 45 miles up the M1 from VWR.
The VWR brake caliper is a 6-piston design that’s properly sized for your factory brake system. This means it has tons of clamping force, yet when you drive around town and tap the brakes, you don’t go flying through the windshield. You can hand your keys over to another driver unfamiliar to your vehicle, and they’ll probably believe the system is stock, that is until you really need to stop quickly.
For the BFG MaxR we chose the black calipers, however they come in red or blue as well.
The VWR brake kit includes a set of street and light track worthy pads, but since the system is designed to take non proprietary pads, they can be swapped out to any compound you may choose. For the MaxR, we drive around on the VWR pads with Motul DOT 5.1 brake fluid, but when we hit the track, we install track pads and fill up with Motul Racing RBF 660. The pads come out with ease and are easily swappable at the track without removing the caliper.
The brake rotors are a 2-piece 352mm x 32mm ventilated and slotted design that’s resistant to fade with plenty of surface area. They are lightweight and feature an aluminum hat that can be swapped off to another set of rotors when replacements are needed down the road.
One of the unique features of the hat is the use of an interlocking hub spacer. This allows the MaxR to switch from street wheels to track wheels without running traditional spacers to clear the calipers. The spacers simply lock into place to reduce vibration typically associated with running wheel spacers.
Lastly the brake lines are upgraded from the standard rubber lines to stainless steel braded lines. Since they can’t expand under pressure, the braided lines get rid of the soft and spongy pedal feel. These feel firm and responsive in comparison.
The system consistently stops shorter than the stock brake system, and at an added benefit, the entire system comes in several pounds lighter per side. The entire package translates into better stopping power, better handling, and faster acceleration.
Today’s aftermarket wheel scene is absolutely littered with every design and style one could imagine. Much like a set of self-adhesive fender vents from Pep Boys, it seems most wheels are chosen based on looks, rather than performance and functionality.
For the BFGMaxR, performance and styling were critical, so we worked with ADV.1 to customize a set of 5.01SL’s. The wheels are strong and up to the demands of the MaxR as they are a 6061 T6 heat-treated forged aluminum Monoblocks manufactured completely in the USA.
ADV.1’s SL line is lightweight with only 19.8 lbs per side, reducing total weight by nearly 25 lbs. We chose a set of 18”x8.5” wheels as it afforded us the ability to run a very meaty set of BFGoodrich tires with a large contact patch. We’ll touch upon in our exciting next update!
Jon at ADV.1 was able to pull out all stops to ensure we could receive the wheels in time for testing at the Michelin Laurence Proving Grounds. ADV.1 custom painted the wheels to our specifications and arrived with a flawless finish, mating perfectly to the MaxR.
The inspiration of the BFGoodrich MaxR project is all in the name. Our goal was to get the maximum out of a Golf R. Achieving this and still maintaining an enjoyable daily driver meant we had to completely modify Max to reliably make above 500HP. With more than double the factory 256 HP there was a new concern. If that power wasn’t transferred to the earth efficiently then it wouldn’t really amount to much.
A key component in the success of the project was a strategic partnership with BFGoodrich. They provided a tire solution capable of putting this new power to the ground in both wet and dry conditions. At the launch of the new BFGoodrich Tires G-Force Sport Comp-2, APR was invited to test the tire on BFGoodrich supplied vehicles. After measuring the performance on our own fleet of vehicles on the track and daily driving, the partnership was born. This was the missing piece to the MaxR project.
When considering performance upgrades for acceleration, handling, and braking most never consider tires. Choosing the wrong tire will completely alter all three of these categories. Arguably, tires are the most important performance component. Tires are your only connection to the road. They are the only objects that translate your input to the asphalt. With the MaxR strapped to a set of the BFGoodrich Tires G-Force Sport Comp-2, we were able to accelerate faster, lower our lap times and stop shorter than the OEM tires supplied with the Golf R.
The MaxR was taken to Michelin’s Laurens Proving Grounds to conduct a battery of tests in dry and wet conditions to see how the tires stacked up to their OEM counterparts. Michelin’s Laurens Proving Grounds consist of 9 privately owned tracks designed to test tires in many different conditions. With dry and wet conditions, on and off road conditions, everything in order to push tires to the limits of handling, braking, acceleration, cornering, drifting, pulling, noise and so on.
Michelin’s test engineers were responsible for running Max through each test as they have thousands of times before with different tires. Multiple tests were conducted on the 93-octane calibration, and stock wheels were installed so all tire sizes would be identical. In braking the MaxR was able to stop an amazing 15.5 feet sooner in 60 - 0 MPH tests. In autocross testing, Max was .5 seconds faster in the dry and 1.8 seconds faster in the wet. All wheel drive acceleration tests resulted in a .9 second reduction up to 140 MPH. Reviewing the data and tapes we begged the test engineer to conduct brutal high RPM launches however he was hesitant to do so. He was new to the project and unaware how built max truly was.
An unexpected benefit of the Comp-2 compared to other high-end tires, including the Comp-2’s predecessor, the KDW, was sound. Our professional driver, Ian Baas put it best saying, “The tire offered the best of both worlds. I was amazed that a high performance tire could be so composed on both the track and street, offering great grip and accuracy while still providing a quiet and comfortable ride.”
The improvements to the Comp-2 over the previous design come thanks to several design changes from BFGoodrich. The Silica-infused compounds improve wet traction. The high-tech elastomer system improves maximum control during spirited driving. The new tread compound rigidity increases responsiveness. The new tread pattern provides proven stability and maximum cornering power while g-Hooks provide biting edges for grip at any cornering angle. Internal structure features a reinforced construction that delivers increased responsiveness, control and durability as well as serious control in hard cornering. This new technology resulted in a 30% / 8% improvement in wet/dry grip conditions for precise control.
Words and pictures can only say so much about the performance of a tire, so we’ve prepared a video to show case the days testing. Enjoy!