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Why Do Some Cars Have Red Brakes? (5 Reasons)

Red brake calipers can be seen on many cars today, but most cars have regular, unpainted brakes.

Seeing a car with shocking red brake calipers shining from behind its rims looks excellent, but it leads many drivers to wonder why some vehicles have red brakes. The answer to this question is quite simple but worth exploring.

Some cars have red brake calipers to signify the brakes are high-quality and high-performance, intended for high-end and luxury cars. Brembo began this trend in the ’80s, as Brembo brakes were the best in the world, and the red color distinguished Brembo brakes from other brands.

A car with red brakes stands out from the rest. This small aesthetic detail is subtle in most instances, but when you see it, it stays with you and leaves you with the lasting impression that you have seen something outside of the ordinary.

Let’s explore why some cars are equipped with red brake calipers, what it means when a car has red brakes, and when this trend began.

5 Reasons Why Some Cars Have Red Brakes

If you have ever seen a car with red brakes while driving, you know that these brakes are hard to miss.

The eye-catching nature of red brake calipers leads many to wonder why some cars are equipped with brakes of this color and what they mean for the vehicles that have them.

The truth is that there are several reasons why some cars have red brakes, and some are more obvious than others. Let’s explore why cars are equipped with red brake calipers.

1. As A Symbol Of High-Quality Brakes

Red brake calipers began as a motor industry trend in the 1980s when a brake manufacturer called Brembo painted their brakes red to stand out from other automotive manufacturers.

Brembo brakes were considered to be the best automotive performance brakes in the world and to make their mark on every car that used Brembo brakes. The calipers were painted red as a mark to demonstrate the high-performance brakes that the car is equipped with.

Since then, Brembo is no longer the only manufacturer to paint their calipers red, as this aesthetic detail has been established as a mark of high-performance brakes from all brands.

This means that brake calipers that are painted red are usually seen as a symbol of a car that has high-quality, high-performance brakes.

A car that needs brakes like this is usually a high-performance vehicle, and so the red calipers have become the mark of a vehicle that is capable of high speeds.

2. As A Symbol Of Performance And Exclusivity

Red brake calipers usually indicate that the car requires very high-performance brakes to stop the vehicle, as it is likely capable of high speeds and performance.

This means that red brakes have come to be a symbol of automotive performance, as well as automotive exclusivity. Most cars on the road are not powerful enough to require performance brakes, and so do not usually have red brake calipers.

There is an exclusive type of car that has red calipers, and most people cannot afford to drive them, which means that red brakes have also become a symbol of status.

Brembo is no longer the only brand to produce red brake calipers, but these days many modern supercar and sports car brands release their vehicles with red brake calipers.

3. For Aesthetic Purposes

Another reason some cars have red brake calipers is that they look good. Red brake calipers provide a pop of bright color on an otherwise colorless area of a car.

Most cars have black or gray brake calipers, and they blend in behind the wheel as an unseen component, but cars with red brake calipers have something that stands out from behind the wheel, which adds another layer of aesthetic beauty to the vehicle, regardless of what the rest of the colors of the car are.

Some cars that are one flat color, such as black or gray, can aesthetically benefit from red brakes, as they provide a subtle yet noticeable way of adding color to the overall look of the car.

4. To Match The Car’s Body Paint

Some cars have red brake calipers to match or compliment the overall color scheme of the vehicle.

Brake calipers can be painted red to match red body paint, or they can be painted red to compliment a body paint color. For example, many yellow sportscars have red brake calipers because they look good with the yellow color scheme of the vehicle.

This is a stylistic and aesthetic choice more than anything else, but it is effective for making the car look unique and stand out from other similar vehicles.

5. To Protect The Calipers

Red paint forms one other practical purpose, but the truth is that the red color is less critical for this reason than the type of paint used for these components.

Brake calipers become very hot when the brakes are used, and these components are very exposed to water, rain, dirt, carbon dust, and other damaging substances.

The paint that manufacturers use to coat the calipers is resistant to these harmful and corrosive substances, which keeps the brakes functional for longer, and increases the performance and safety of the car.

Red calipers look great, but the paint that gives the calipers their color serves to protect the brakes and surrounding components from corrosion and general damage.

Do Red Calipers Always Mean High Performance?

Red brake calipers are a mark of high-performance vehicles, but the reality is that anyone can paint their brake calipers red. This means that red calipers have become a cliché when used on regular cars rather than always being a sign of high performance.

Any luxury car, supercar, or sports car with red brakes is usually equipped with high-quality, high-performance brakes painted red as a signature of these high-end components.

Any regular car that is not made for high-performance driving that has red calipers probably has an enterprising owner that knows how to use high-heat spray paint.


Red brake calipers save become a signature sign of luxury, exclusive, and high-performance road cars since Brembo painted their brake calipers this color as a mark of excellence.

Most modern cars that fall into this category have red brake calipers, which helps to distinguish them from regular cars.