The stock brakes were in dire need of an overhaul, as evident by the 168-ft stopping distance from 60 to 0 mph. The original plan was to use Stoptech calipers and rotors up front, which would have given the binders capabilities far beyond the stock units. However, wheel choice became problematic; the Stoptech calipers call for quite a bit of offset and spoke clearance. It would have worked with the SSR wheels, but, well, you know the story.
EBC came into play with replacement rotors and its Green Stuff pads, which have been specifically formulated to meet tough EU standards for replacement pads, a none-too-easy feat given the strict European guidelines. EBC brake pads are the only pads made with Kevlar, and the pad compound uses no carbon, so there is minimal dust and what they do shed is lightly colored. The friction coefficient of the EBC compound is 30- to 40% higher than common pads, yet EBC claims rotor wear is minimal. The Green Stuff pads are designed for the street or light track activities with stable braking characteristics up to 550C-pretty much what the Corrado will see. The EBC rotors appear to be well-cast units with grooves and multiple depressions on the face to increase surface area and bite. While a completely drilled rotor may have even more cooling capacity, they tend to live shorter lives, cracking after a few months of usage. Neuspeed provided the stainless -steel brake lines to replace the flex-prone rubber units.
Following the bedding-in procedure, we drove the car to "the road" and did a few shakedown runs. The EBC brakes did indeed give the Corrado improved braking, both cold and after repeated stops, and the pedal feel is hugely improved. Because of deadline constraints, we were unable to properly test the EBC brakes, but I would be surprised if they did not provide at least a 15- to 20% improvement over the stock binders.
For additional chassis rigidity, I went to Neuspeed for its triangulated rear tie. I had used one on the GTI and could feel the results instantly. Older cars tend to respond better to aftermarket chassis tie bars, as their construction is not as tough as modern techniques provide. Like all products Neuspeed fabricates, its rear tie bar is a work of art, featuring a jewel-like finish, high-quality fasteners and easy-to-follow instructions. The Neuspeed rear tie bar made its presence known immediately, silencing an annoying rattle out back. Where it really shines is in high-speed corners-one in particular comes to mind. It's a long right-hander with two dips midway through. If I do it just right, I can carry 88 mph before hard braking. Before the Neuspeed bar, the Corrado would hit the first dip and tend to walk to the outside, just in time to hit the next dip. Now it remains totally flat-I don't even hit the second dip.
The last item added/replaced on Project Corrado was the front spoiler. The stock unit was replaced with a European-spec spoiler courtesy of Mike Potter at Virtual World Parts. The European spoiler is twice the size of the stock unit and is a direct replacement piece. It looks awesome and is supple enough to take a serious beating.
Project Corrado is shaping up to be a wonderful car. In all honesty, it wasn't that difficult...it was a great car from the start.