Powerbrake Company Overview

Powerbrake is a brake technology company that was started in South Africa in 2004 by a small team of technical people that all had extensive prior experience in the braking industry. The company was established in the city of Pretoria, which is home to a strong base of high-tech manufacturing companies and research institutions that service the automotive, aerospace and other high-tech industries.

South Africa has strong motorsport heritage with a wide range of different race series and National Championships, ranging from circuit and rally to a very competitive national off-road racing series. Many of the leading off-road race cars in the world (for FIA Cross Country World Cup and Dakar Rally use) are designed and built in South Africa and tested and developed in the South African national off-road race series. These race cars are sold to off-road race customers world-wide. Racing in South Africa has always been extremely competitive and this has been proven by the number of South African drivers that have achieved successes in international motorsport over the years.

South African motorsport teams place a particularly high priority on the durability of the components that they use. In addition to this, South Africa has a number of short, tight race circuit’s that place extreme demands on brake components. Powerbrake’s founders carefully studied the race brake components that were being imported from Europe and supplied to South African race teams at the time of the companies inception. The components were expensive and, while typically fairly light-weight, these products often had a poor reputation in terms of durability under South African circuit and off-road race conditions.

Powerbrake was formed to develop a range of high-performance and race brake products that would offer local race teams and enthusiasts a range of extremely tough, durable race components that would offer exceptional brake performance at a competitive price.

Many brake manufacturers world-wide start off supplying their brake components to the high-performance street market and then eventually move into the track and race markets. At Powerbrake the primary focus from the outset was on racing. Powerbrake’s very first brake system design, that included their X-Line PB44L caliper (featuring separate pad-per-piston design) and heavy-duty 2-piece floating rotor assemblies (featuring staggered cooling vane design) was supplied to the factory-backed BMW Super Production Car team competing in the premier A-Class of the Bridgestone Production Car National Championship race series. At the time the team moved from a well know European brand to Powerbrake.

After fitting the Powerbrake system to the first factory car, the team reported significant gains in brake performance and durability. They immediately ordered the same Powerbrake system for the second car in the team. The BMW Super Production Car team remained Powerbrake customers for six years after this until withdrawing from the race series. During this time they achieved countless race wins and won the National Championship running Powerbrake in 2014.

When MINI joined the Bridgestone Super Production Car series in later years, the team again chose Powerbrake as their brake system supplier (based on the BMW success). Other teams in this premier National Championship race series who chose to run Powerbrake race brake systems included: Nissan, Opel, Renault, Ford and VW. Many of these teams chose to run Powerbrake's first race caliper design, the X-Line PB44L, which remains in the Powerbrake range to this day and has proven time and again to be one of the leading 4-piston race calipers on the world market. As with all Powerbrake X-Line calipers, the PB44L is machined from solid billet aerospace-grade aluminum and with it's 'separate-pad-per-piston' design it regularly outperforms competitive 6-piston race calipers.

In 2008 a number of Ferrari F430 Challenge race cars were imported into South Africa by the Forza Racing team. These were destined to race in the competitive GT Challenge race series. The cars were factory fitted with carbon ceramic (CCM) rotors and it soon became apparent that the carbon ceramic rotors would not hold up well to sustained race use on South African tracks. In addition to this, the replacement cost for the CCM rotors was prohibitive.

Forza Racing approached Powerbrake to develop a complete front and rear replacement brake system that would do away with the factory fitted CCM rotors (and OEM calipers) and employ cast-iron rotors and billet 6-piston race calipers instead for increased durability and reduced running costs. Powerbrake developed their X-Line PB62E 6-piston race caliper and a new 356x35mm 2-piece rotor design for the F430C GT Challenge cars. Not only did the new brake system offer improved brake performance, significantly improved durability and reduced running costs but the Powerbrake system also weighed no more than the CCM factory system. The Powerbrake F430C system was very successful and Powerbrake ended up exporting a number of these systems to F430C owners world-wide. Many of these cars are still racing on these Powerbrake systems today, competing in both sprint and endurance events of up to 9-hours in duration. Based on the performance of the brake systems supplied to the Forza Racing Ferrari's, other teams racing in the GT Challenge Series soon started approaching Powerbrake and brake systems were developed and supplied for Porsche's, Noble's and Turbo-charged Lotus Exige's also competing in the series.

In 2009 Nissan Motorsport, who had run Powerbrake on their factory Nissan 350Z Super Production race cars, approached Powerbrake to develop a 6-piston off-road race caliper for their Dakar Rally project. The infamous Dakar Rally is widely regarded as the toughest motorsport event on the planet. Powerbrake developed their X-Line PB62I 6-piston race caliper for Nissan Motorsport. The callipers were fitted to the factory Dakar Nissan Navara's and the caliper was an instant success, performing extremely well in the gruelling Dakar Rally.

The factory Toyota Motorsport team started fitting the Powerbrake X-Line PB62I 6-piston calipers to all of the cars that they were building and supplying to teams world-wide from 2011 onwards. Since then Powerbrake has supplied hundreds of its X-Line PB62I calipers to Toyota Motorsport. The calipers have achieved numerous FIA Cross Country World Cup race wins around the globe as well as three podium finishes at the Dakar Rally. In 2014 Toyota Motorsport asked Powerbrake to develop a liquid-cooled version of the well-proven PB62I 6-piston race calliper for their factory Dakar race cars. The PB62IW liquid-cooled calliper was another success story and achieved a podium finish at the 2015 Dakar. From freezing snow covered forest stages in Russia, to rough gravel stages in Moroccco, to big desert dune stage in South America, Powerbrake PB62I 6-piston race calipers are being used by race winning teams. They are quite simply the best value in terms of serious off-road race callipers on the world market at the moment.

In 2012 Toyota Motorsport developed a Toyota Etios Super 1600 Rally Car in conjunction with a company called JEMSport and again approached Powerbrake to supply the brake system. The target pricing for the system on this car very tight. Powerbrake develop a system using the exact same off-the-shelf 1-piece high-carbon rotors that they supply daily to street, track day and circuit race customers matched to their PB42M “micro” 4-piston calipers. This Powerbrake system has won two back-to-back National Rally Championship titles competing against European brand brake systems costing 2-3 times more fitted to rival S1600 cars built in Europe.

Today Powerbrake has grown to offer a full range of big brake kits, high-carbon direct replacement rotors and bespoke race brake systems for hundreds of street, track day and full race applications. Their X-Line range of big brake kits is derived directly from their extensive motorsport involvement and features the exact same calipers and rotors supplied to leading factory race teams. Powerbrake also provides brake systems for armoured cars and specialised law enforcement applications. The company exports its products world-wide. Powerbrake has a sales office in Switzerland from which it serves its customers in Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia. Powerbrake USA, based in Concord North Carolina, has recently been established to better serve our growing number of US customers. The South American and African regions are served directly from Powerbrake’s head office in Pretoria, South Africa. All Powerbrake products follow the company’s deeply ingrained design philosophy:


A message from Powerbrake's founder and CEO: "At Powerbrake we have one clear objective: To design, manufacture and deliver high-performance and race brake components that offer exceptional performance and durability at a fair price. There are certainly cheaper products out there (as well as many far more expensive ones). At Powerbrake you will find championship winning products that are extremely well engineered, manufactured to the highest standards, that have been proven in the toughest motor sport events on the planet - all at surprisingly competitive prices. This is made possible through significant investment in state of the art CAD, CAM and FEA software as well as cutting edge 5-axis CNC production equipment that results in design and production efficiency that gets passed on to our customers. This investment ultimately translates into competitive product pricing. When you invest in a Powerbrake product or big brake kit, you are investing in engineering that has won GT Challenge Championships, A-Class Super Production Car Championships, National Rally Championships and finished on the podium at the infamous Dakar Rally three times in the past four years. Our brake components and systems are not intended as cosmetic enhancements. They are designed from the ground up to improve the braking performance of your vehicle. The Powerbrake brand is fast earning a reputation around the world for offering unbeatable performance and durability for the money invested".