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The Tire Rack - Performance Specialists

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Manufactured By: Axxis
Website: N/A
Application: E46 M3

A lot of people waste a lot of bandwidth arguing whether there really is such a thing as a brake pad that will work well of the street while providing serious performance at the track. Well, if there is, do let me know - but I would venture that a 3400lb, 333hp car with R-comps will need the kind of pad at the track that almost none of us would not be willing to live with on the street and that any real street pad will melt given this scenario at the track.

So what about getting something a bit better then OEM, something that has much higher fade resistance than OEM and better brake feel and bite and in the best of all worlds less brake dust as well? Axxis Ultimate seems to fill this niche nicely.

Axxis Ultimate's provide fade resistance up to 1022 degrees (F) and still provide about 90% of their grip even when cold. With a little heat built up in them they provide better grip than OEM pads on the street and do so with very little dusting as compared to OEM.

Installation (Front Brake Pad Replacement, Rear Brake Pad Replacement) is a direct replacement and pretty easy.

These are great pads for AutoX and novice track use (with street rubber). It works exceptionally well on the street and in spirited canyon runs. I don't think these would make for a good primary track pad as temperatures (especially without a cooling kit) would likely exceed Ultimate's limits pretty rapidly if the car was driven hard and especially if the car is riding on R-comps. Again, this is a big, heavy and very fast car all of which trends to make life very difficult on brakes and brake pads in particular.

If properly installed, treated with anti-squeal compound and correctly bedded the pads a dead quiet. If you do not make hard use of them once in a while you may build up a little residue on the rotors and start talking to you - a few good stops (kind of a repeat of bedding) will clear that right up.

There is very little dusting with the Ultimates. A good comparison would be to say that the front wheels have about the same amount of brake dust with Ultimates as rear wheels did with OEM and the rear wheels with Ultimates show almost no dust. While this is not the primary reason to buy or not buy a brake pad it is a hell of a nice brake when cleaning the PIA spokes of the OEM wheels. The Ultimates brake dust is not aggressively corrosive like most full-on track pads.

There are some downsides to going to a fairly aggressive pad like the Ultimates. Rotor life will be somewhat reduced and cold bite (friction) is a little less than OEM. Also, the way these communicate to the driver takes a little getting used to. The fade is not really progressive. Once their limits are met or exceeded they go from full grip to pretty noticeable fade fairly quickly and not in a gradual manner like the OEM's. It's not an on/off switch but you have to pay attention as once you exceed their limits there is not much left and they don't provide the subtle hinds that OEM and some other street pads do as how close you are to fading them into oblivion.

Overall these have been great. I cannot attest to their service life as yet or to how much they will take out of the rotors. After a few thousand miles I cannot see any abnormal wear on either the pads or the rotors and rotor surface is smooth and free of grooving, etc.

These pads are a compromise that works very well for my driving and "racing" needs. All the performance of most street pads with the ability to go to the track or repeated AutoX runs without having to swap pads - that indeed is a good thing.

Another option may be the Axxis Deluxe pad. The Deluxe has a lower temperature range but is more rotor friendly and even lower dust.

Hope this has been at least somewhat helpful…

P.S. I got these from Zeckhausen Racing - I would strongly recommend Dave and his company - the man simply knows brakes, period!

Axxis Ultimate Brake Pads

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