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The Available Brake Upgrade For GM T1 Trucks And SUVs Is Simply Beyond Any Plug-And-Play Kit

2019 2020 2021 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Performance Accessories Brembo Brake Kit T1 RST
Image via Matheus Pach, Muscle Cars & Trucks

The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a formidable pickup truck, but what really helps separate the half-ton from its rivals at Ford and Ram is its near-endless portfolio of official, warranty-backed accessories. While, true, each of these brands offer upgrades such as lift/leveling kits, cold air intakes, and cat-back exhaust systems, a brake upgrade is an uncommon availability. Take the Brembo-sourced brake kit offered through Chevrolet Performance, for example.

Available for General Motors T1 half-ton trucks, the Brembo kit was designed, developed, and validated just the same as any original equipment part, earning its keep in the accessories catalog, and maintaining the Silverado’s factory warranty. While build quality certainly plays a role in what gets the seal of approval for a Chevrolet Performance Accessory, we recently learned that validation of the kit goes well beyond just that.

T1 Chevrolet Performance Silverado 1500 RST Brembo Brake Kit Borla Exhaust Lift Wheels Accessory Cold Air Intake Cat Back
Image via Matheus Pach, Muscle Cars & Trucks

“When we do the performance brakes for the trucks, you have incredible potential to have more torque at the brake – so that brake actually uses less pressure and fluid than normal,” said Chevrolet Performance Parts & Motorsports engineering group manager Seth Ravndal in an interview with MC&T. “Since you have that big rotor you don’t need as much clamp force to generate the friction to get the same amount of torque (in a braking event)… people love it.”

However, the Brembo brake kit seems to leave a little bit of grip force on the table, skewing instead towards a seamless integration with GM’s advanced driving systems such as full-speed adaptive cruise control.

“(Adaptive cruise control) will autonomously come in with a predictive pressure pulse… so when you’re closing quickly or something more abrupt that it has to react to, it will request brake assistance,” said Ravndal. “In that case we still want a smooth transition down to speed, we don’t want to toss your coffee out of your hand or bob your head.”

2021 Chevrolet SIlverado 1500 Performance Accessoires Brembo Brake Kit
Photo copyright Manoli Katakis, Muscle Cars & Trucks

These are Brembos, after all. A signature name in stopping power, that Chevrolet Performance opted to use on one of GM’s biggest vehicles in the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500. At the same time, with the inclusion of adaptive cruise (and later Super Cruise, Ultra Cruise, and possibly Hyper Cruise), these T1 platform trucks SUVs are some of GM’s most sophisticated vehicles.

“In that (braking scenario) it’s about testing with those advanced systems and making sure those systems,” explained Seth Ravndal. “We wanna make sure that when we change the hardware it still behaves the way we want it to for the customer… they don’t get that abruptness when using full range ACC.”

In doing so, the Chevrolet Performance hardware does not require a re-calibration of the adaptive cruise control software in the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 to work in an optimal manner.

“We did extensive work to make sure the hardware was compatible. It gives you a heavier rotor and swept surface which really helps for cooling. It gives you a larger pad which helps with wear, it does give you more output and better pedal feel, but we didn’t take it so far as to upset the system. In that scenario, we tuned the hardware to make sure the system behaved well.”

2019 2020 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 RST L87 V8 Accessories Brembo Borla Weathertech
Photo copyright Mattheus Pach, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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