BMW M3 Sedan and M4 Competition


Episode 06: BMW M3 & M4 Explained.

Brakes.Episode 06: BMW M3 & M4 Explained.

The epitome of racing feeling in everyday traffic starts a new round. 35 years after the debut of the first BMW M3, BMW M GmbH presents the latest generation of its high-performance automobiles in the premium mid-size segment. Time to introduce the two new vehicles. In the #M3M4explained series, the developers have the floor.

The sixth episode of our series is about everything that packs a punch. Jürgen, the developer of the brake systems for BMW M3 and M4, introduces us to the M Carbon ceramic brake and the M Compound brake in the video. In addition, Jürgen shares his knowledge with the M community. We publish an excerpt from the questions and answers.

BMW M3 Sedan:
Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 9.9-10.2 (WLTP)
CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 226-231 (WLTP)


BMW M4 Competition Coupé:
Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 9.6-9.8 (WLTP)
CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 219-224 (WLTP)

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Bremsen. BMW M3 and M4 - explained, Episode 06.


What is the braking distance from 200 kmh to 0 for normal and ceramic brakes?


Jürgen: Braking distances are a result of many variable parameters - the most important ones being the coefficient of friction between tire and road, as well as tire and brake temperatures. Moreover, a slight - almost invisible - grade of the road has a huge impact on braking distances as well. With ideal conditions, 128m braking distance from 200-0km/h can be achieved.


What size are the front brake discs?


The brake rotor dimensions are:
M Compound brakes: 380x36mm (front) / 370x24mm (rear)
M Carbon ceramic brakes: 400x38mm (front) / 380x28mm (rear)


Is the disc ventilated?


Yes. No matter whether you have standard M Compound brakes or M Carbon ceramic brakes, all 4 brake discs are ventilated.

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Why isn't the rear brake as big as the front one?


Due to dynamic weight shift during deceleration, there is significantly higher load on the front brakes. This can be as much as 70% front to 30% rear. Hence, the front brakes are typically the "bigger" brakes compared to the rear brakes. Take a look at motorcycle brake systems - there you can see the difference even better.


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Why not use a fixed caliper on the reαr with an integrated parking brake, instead of the single?


The new rear sliding caliper integrates the regular hydraulic brakes and the mechanical parking brake. By eliminating the last generation drum-style parking brake not only is weight being reduced but also a deeper concave wheel design could be achieved. From a functional perspective, the clamping forces achieved with the sliding caliper are up to the task as well.


What kind of material is the brake caliper?


The front brake's 6-piston calipers are made of forged alloy. The rear sliding calipers are an aluminum / cast-iron combination.


Can the brakes get the color of the car?


The standard M Compound brakes are available in blue, red or black. M Carbon ceramic brakes have matte gold painted calipers.


Are the M Carbon ceramic brakes optional also for the non-competition BMW M3 and M4 models?


Yes, you can order the M Carbon ceramic brakes for all new M3 and M4 models.


Between compound and ceramic, is the only difference the discs?


Brake calipers are almost identical with differentiated mounting points between Carbon ceramic and Compound discs. Brake pads are developed for each brake disc system specifically.

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BMW M4 Competition with The M Carbon ceramic brake

The optional M Carbon ceramic brake.

BMW M4 Competition with The M Compound brake

The standard M compound brake system.

The 13kg weight reduction of the ceramic brakes, is it for both or per brake?


The weight reduction mentioned is the total reduction achieved by all 4 wheel brakes.


Does the material of the brake pads differ between M Carbon ceramic brakes and steel brakes?


Yes, they are different. Our OEM brake pads are developed for each brake disc system specifically to ensure superior performance and best possible comfort all the time. For longterm durability and best performance, please always use BMW original spare parts.


Do the Carbon ceramic brakes need to be at a specific temperature for optimum performance?


Optimum brake performance is achieved with operating temperatures between 50-700°C. Especially developed brake disc coating with matching brake pads enable sufficient performance within the entire temperature range.


What is the highest temperature that the discs can withstand?


The Carbon ceramic brake discs can handle temperatures of more than 1000°C without physical damage.


Would the ceramic brakes decrease fading effect caused by high temperature on track?


Yes, the Carbon ceramic brake is superior during steady higher temperatures like driving on a racetrack.


Which brakes are suited more for daily use, the M Compound brakes or M Carbon ceramic brakes?


Both brake systems are designed to work excellently on the road as well as on the track. However, with its higher fading resistance the M Carbon ceramic brakes' bias is even more track oriented.


Does the brake paddle get a spongy feeling after a few laps in the track?


With our newly developed integrated brake system, the brake pedal feel remains almost constant.


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What brake fluid is optimal?


Original BMW brake fluid DOT4 NV.


Does the electric parking brake automatically engage when the car is turned off?


In the new BMW M3 and M4, that can be configured via a button on the center console.




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Are there brake calipers which completely surround the brake disc, or would the brake disc overheat in that case?


A completely surrounded brake disc would be bad, as the area which is used to cool down the disc would be closed too.


Are there any disadvantages for the Carbon ceramic brakes?


Due to specific material properties, increased operating noise may occur during braking, e.g. in case of prolonged, low load or in wet conditions shortly before vehicle standstill. The design-related noise can be avoided by braking the brake dry in case of wetness or loading the brake more heavily after a long, low braking load. The influence of wetness and road salt cause brake effectiveness to correspond to that of a conventional brake system. This reduced braking power can be compensated for with a greater pressure on the pedal. The functional noises have no influence on the performance, operational safety and stability of the brake.


What car do you drive?


BMW M635 CSi, BMW 730d Individual (E65) and BMW 318Ci Convertible (E46).


Your favorite M car of all time?


That’s the BMW 1-Series M Coupé.


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  • The models illustrated include optional equipment.

    Due to regular software updates, screen designs in the communication may differ from the actual screen design in your car.

    Official data on power consumption and electric range were determined in accordance with the mandatory measurement procedure and comply with Regulation (EU) 715/2007 valid at the time of type approval. In case of a range, figures in the NEDC take into account differences in the selected wheel and tire size; figures in the WLTP take into account any optional equipment. WLTP values are used for assessing taxes and other vehicle-related charges that are (also) based on CO2 emissions, as well as for the purposes of vehicle-specific subsidies, if applicable. Where applicable, the NEDC values listed were calculated based on the new WLTP measurement procedure and then converted back to the NEDC measurement procedure for comparability reasons. For newly type-tested vehicles since 01.01.2021, the official data no longer exist according to NEDC, but only according to WLTP. For more information on the WLTP and NEDC measurement procedures, see

    For further information about the official fuel consumption and the specific CO2 emission of new passenger cars can be taken out of the „handbook of fuel consumption, the CO2 emission and power consumption of new passenger cars“, which is available at all selling points and at

    All vehicles, equipment, combination possibilities and varieties shown here are examples and can differ in your country. In no way do they constitute a binding offer by the BMW M GmbH. Visit your local BMW website or see your authorised BMW M Retailer for accurate details on the offers in your country.