The twin-turbocharged Supra came with exceptionally large brakes, measuring 12.7-in and 12.8-in for the front and rear, respectively. Front and rear rotors are sandwiched by twin-pot calipers with aluminum pistons (one steel and one aluminum piston on the fronts), giving the already fast, wide-tired, stock road rocket no problems when coming to a mind-numbing halt. But we don't care, it's all coming off for even bigger and better components.
Assuming we're not just going for the "show car bling" when deciding on what wheels, tires and brakes to use, it's important to decide on brake size first. First, figure out your budget and then what you intend to use the car for (i.e., street, show, track, etc.) If your budget is under $400, a good set of pads, stainless-steel lines and high-temp brake fluid will make your car plenty track-worthy. If you plan to hit the track hard and your budget is bigger ([cough] much bigger,) then you can quit messing around and do what we did; acknowledge the fact that this powerful, yet humongous, piece of metal will be going really fast and have to stop repeatedly without brake fade. Enter Brembo North America.
In choosing the right brake size we sort of had the "bigger is better" clich in mind. Brembo's Gran Turismo brake system for the Supra features 14.0-in (355mm) vented, two-piece rotors up front and 13.6-in vented, two-piece rotors out back. They come in either slotted or cross-drilled patterns. Although I've track-tested Brembo's cross-drilled set repeatedly with a high-powered BMW M3 Turbo, I felt the heavier-and soon to be much more powerful-Supra would put a little more stress on the cross-drilled rotors. We went with slotted.
The four-pot calipers with sequentially sized pistons come in your choice of silver, black or red. Although considerably larger than stock, each front caliper weighed in at 9.5-lb, a savings of more than 7-lb. per corner. The much larger-than-stock rear calipers added no weight, tipping the scales at 6.5-lb. Brembo supplies the needed adapter bracket for each corner, each of which weighs an extra 1-lb.
Where we thought some weight would be added was in the rotors. Still, the larger and thicker Brembo front and rear rotors weigh exactly the same as the used-up stock units they replace.
The brake kit fit the Supra without much fuss. The stock dust shields either have to come off or be trimmed to allow room for the slightly thicker rotors. After that, everything bolts into place-no need to grind anything.
Once the brakes are on you're going to have deal with wheel clearance issues. Although our stock wheels had to go, Brembo offers a smaller, 13.1-in four-piston brake kit that fits inside the 17-in stock wheels. Given a proper brake caliper diagram, a custom wheel manufacturer can build custom wheels to fit over big brake kits. This is where iForged Performance Alloys fit into the project.
iForged modular wheels go through a high pressure and temperature forging process, which changes the non-directional grain structure of cast aluminum to the high integrity, multi-directional grain structure of forgings. The aluminum remains solid throughout the process as the forging dies come together and change the shape of the round bar to the cylindrical shape of the wheel. This forging "preform" is then placed in a spin forging machine to forge the rim section.