Can You Improve the Brake Performance of a Nissan GT-R with Aftermarket Rotors and Pads?

When it comes to performance vehicles, the Nissan GT-R is one of the most well-known and respected models on the market. With its sleek design, impressive horsepower, and top-tier performance, it’s no wonder that GT-R owners are always looking for ways to enhance their vehicle’s capabilities. One common area of focus is the braking system. But can you actually improve the brake performance of a Nissan GT-R with aftermarket rotors and pads? We delve into this topic, assessing the potential benefits and drawbacks of such an upgrade.

The Basics of Brake Performance

Before we get into the specifics of the Nissan GT-R’s braking system and the potential impact of aftermarket upgrades, it’s important to understand the basics of brake performance.

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Brakes are vital components of any vehicle, but they’re especially crucial for high-performance vehicles like the GT-R. They need to be able to withstand high speeds and heavy loads, all while delivering consistent, reliable stopping power.

The main components of the braking system are the brake rotors and brake pads. The rotors are the large discs that you see when you look at the wheel of a car. When you apply the brakes, the brake pads clamp down on the rotors to create friction, which slows down the vehicle.

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Upgrading to aftermarket rotors and pads can potentially enhance brake performance by increasing the amount of friction, improving heat dissipation, and reducing brake fade.

Assessing the GT-R’s Stock Braking System

The Nissan GT-R comes equipped with a high-performance braking system straight from the factory. The stock system features Brembo monoblock six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers with 15.35-inch front and 15.0-inch rear vented, drilled rotors.

This setup provides excellent stopping power and heat dissipation, which are critical for a car with the GT-R’s capabilities. However, some owners believe that there’s room for improvement, especially for those who regularly take their GT-Rs to the track.

The Potential Benefits of Aftermarket Rotors and Pads

Replacing the stock rotors and pads on your GT-R with aftermarket components can offer several potential benefits. The key is selecting the right products for your specific needs and driving conditions.

One of the major advantages of aftermarket rotors is that they often feature more aggressive designs, such as slotted or cross-drilled surfaces. These designs can help to increase the rotor’s surface area, which in turn increases the amount of friction that can be generated between the rotor and the brake pads. This leads to improved stopping power.

Additionally, aftermarket brake pads are frequently made from different materials than stock pads. These materials can be better at withstanding high temperatures, which can lead to less brake fade over time. This is particularly beneficial for those who regularly drive their GT-Rs on the track, where high speeds and heavy braking can quickly heat up the brakes.

Key Considerations When Upgrading Your GT-R’s Brakes

While there are potential benefits to upgrading your GT-R’s brakes with aftermarket rotors and pads, there are also several key considerations to keep in mind.

Firstly, it’s important to recognize that not all aftermarket products are created equal. There are many different brands and types of rotors and pads on the market, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. It’s crucial to do your research and choose high-quality components that are well-suited to your specific needs and driving conditions.

Secondly, it’s important to remember that installing aftermarket rotors and pads is a significant undertaking. If you’re not comfortable with performing this type of work yourself, you’ll need to factor in the cost of professional installation.

Lastly, upgrading to aftermarket rotors and pads can potentially have an impact on your GT-R’s warranty. If a brake-related issue arises after you’ve installed aftermarket components, it may not be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. This is something to keep in mind before deciding to go ahead with this type of upgrade.


So, can you improve the brake performance of a Nissan GT-R with aftermarket rotors and pads? The answer is a qualified ‘yes’. There are potential benefits to be gained, including increased stopping power and reduced brake fade. However, it’s also important to consider the potential drawbacks and costs associated with this type of upgrade.

The Process of Choosing and Installing Aftermarket Rotors and Pads

Deciding to upgrade the braking system of your Nissan GT-R is only the first step. Once you’ve made this decision, you need to identify the right aftermarket components for your GT-R and figure out how to install them.

As stated earlier, not all aftermarket rotors and pads are the same. There are numerous brands out there and each offers a variety of options, constructed from different materials and designed to deliver specific performance benefits. Some aftermarket rotors feature slotted or cross-drilled designs which can enhance friction and heat dissipation, while others are made from heat-resistant compounds for improved durability. Aftermarket pads can be made from materials that offer better high-temperature performance, leading to less brake fade.

How do you choose the right aftermarket rotors and pads for your GT-R? It largely depends on your specific needs and driving conditions. If you regularly drive your GT-R on the track, you might want to consider rotors and pads designed to withstand high temperatures and heavy braking. If you’re mainly driving on the road, however, you might prioritize durability and longevity.

Installing aftermarket rotors and pads can be a complex process. Unless you have a solid understanding of car mechanics, it’s recommended to have a professional do the installation. Keep in mind, though, that this will add to the overall cost of the upgrade.

Potential Drawbacks of Upgrading to Aftermarket Rotors and Pads

While upgrading to aftermarket rotors and pads can potentially improve the brake performance of your Nissan GT-R, there are also some potential downsides to be aware of.

One of these is the possible impact on your GT-R’s warranty. If you install aftermarket components and later encounter a brake-related issue, the manufacturer might not cover the repair costs under the warranty. This is something you should consider before deciding to go ahead with the upgrade.

Additionally, the installation of aftermarket rotors and pads can be quite complex and expensive, especially if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself. Even if you do decide to hire a professional, it’s still essential to understand the process and what it involves to make sure it’s done correctly.

Furthermore, while some aftermarket components might provide certain benefits, they might not live up to your expectations or even meet the performance of the stock components. This is why it’s crucial to research and choose high-quality aftermarket rotors and pads that are suitable for your specific needs and driving conditions.


To sum it all up, the brake performance of a Nissan GT-R can be improved by upgrading to aftermarket rotors and pads. This can lead to increased stopping power and decreased brake fade, especially beneficial for GT-Rs driven on the track. But it’s crucial to remember that this upgrade comes with its own set of considerations, including potentially voiding the warranty, extra costs for installation, and the importance of choosing high-quality aftermarket components. After careful consideration of these factors, GT-R owners can make a well-informed decision on whether an aftermarket brake upgrade is the right move for them.

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