High Horsepower + High Curb Weight = Serious Brake Demands!


The first gen CTS-V was powerful and fast, but never seemed to see as much track time in amateur hands as one would expect, particularly given the amount of money that was dumped into Cadillac's professional racing effort at the time. Fast forward twenty years, and we're now starting to see more enthusiasts leveraging AP Racing by Essex Brake Kits to try and make the older V chassis competitive with the newer Caddy designs. One of our Gen.1 clients recently provided some feedback on how our brake system has changed his time at the track. Please note: this kit was originally designed for the Gen. 5 Camaro, but will fit the CTS-V V1 with appropriate modifications to the knuckles (to make it a 5-lug wheel bolt pattern).

Here's what Chris had to say on his experience so far:

Part number(s) of the kit(s) you purchased

I am using kit # 13.01.10042 (Gen. 5 Camaro) - AP Racing by Essex Radi-CAL Competition Brake Kit (Front CP9668/372mm)

Brand, model, size, and offset of the front and rear wheels you’re running

As far as wheels I ran with factory fender fitment, I ran the following wheels, all in 18x9.5 +35: Apex SM-10, Apex EC-7, and Titan7 T-R10

Your experience level & driving history

I have been tracking cars for about 3 years, competing in time trials about 2.5 years, and wheel to wheel racing for 1.5 years.

How have our brakes changed your driving experience?

The major noticeable driving difference with the brakes was the lack of pad knockback over curbs. I used to encounter a bit going into T10 at VIR due to the curbs in the esses, and since installing the kit, it is a non-issue. The consistency is also as expected.

Problems that the brake kit solved

The major thing I appreciate about the brakes over stock calipers is the increased stiffness with reduced pad knockback, better thermal capacity, and longer individual pad life due to thicker pads

Favorite product feature

My favorite product feature has to be the ability to run a 25mm pad, as even though I primarily sprint race, I have to change pads significantly less often. Also, I significantly prefer the radial caliper mount over the factory ear style, from a serviceability perspective.

Comparison to other products you’ve tried in the past

AP Racing is the only aftermarket brake kit I have used on my CTS-V, but I have driven many other brake kits on other racecars, and AP Racing matches the expectations I would have with a top-level motorsports supplier. You tend to get what you pay for.

Customer service by Essex before and after initial sale

Essex has phenomenal customer service, even when I had yet to buy parts from them. They also seem to be receptive of feedback I have given, and helpful in issues I have encountered.

Documentation and ease of install

The install manual is very useful, I still reference it from time to time to use for torque specs.

Would you buy it again, and would you recommend it to a friend?

I would certainly buy again, and I have recommended Essex/AP to many friends who have ended up purchasing kits.

Anything about the product that you think could be improved?

My least favorite thing is the price of rotor ring replacements. It hurts every time I replace rotors, but that is part of the superior performance you pay for.

Race or event wins on our brake kit

So far, I have won 4 wheel to wheel races on the brake kit, as well as a podium, and 2 time-trial events, as well as a time trial podium in addition


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