How You Design Brakes To Stop A 1600km/h Car

When it comes to building the Bloodhound SSC, everything is uncharted territory for its designers. Because while the world’s fastest production car, the Hennessey Venom GT, tops out at just over 435km/h, the Bloodhound SSC is designed to go over 1600km/h. That creates countless engineering problems, particularly when it comes to stopping what is essentially a rocket engine on wheels.

While the Bloodhound SSC is designed to reach 1600km/h, air brakes will actually absorb most of the speed until it slows to 257km/h, at which point physical brake pads will bring it to a full stop. But that’s still no easy task given the size and weight of the vehicle.

During testing, high-performance carbon rotors shattered before they hit the required 10,000rpm mark — which left only good old steel as the material of choice. So far it looks like the specially-engineered pads will hold up as required, despite reaching temperatures of over 815C in testing. But their success is crucial to the record breaking since the Bloodhound SSC has to stop, turn around and do it again in a limited time window. [YouTube via Motor Authority]