How You Design Brakes to Stop a 1,000 MPH Car

By Andrew Liszewski on at

While the world's fastest production car, the Hennessey Venom GT, tops out at just over 270 miles per hour, the Bloodhound SSC is designed to go over 1,000 mph. And that creates countless engineering problems, particularly when it comes to stopping what is essentially a rocket engine on wheels.

But while the Bloodhound SSC is designed to reach 1,000 mph, air brakes will actually absorb most of the speed until it slows to 160 mph, 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 10,000 rpm 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 1,500 degrees fahrenheit (8315°C) 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]