Tesla Model Y Performance owners are discovering that instead of having larger rear brake calipers and rotors compared to the Long Range (LR) variant, they are now actually the same size. The discovery is surprising to these owners, but is actually something that Tesla changed back in August and is only being noticed now.
Ever since the Model Y Performance was introduced it has had upgraded Brembo rear brakes compared to the LR variant. Last summer we exclusively reported on a supplier change where Tesla was switching to Mando for the rear brakes on the Model Y Performance, a change which Tesla said at the time would have no impact on braking performance.
Some owners are questioning that after discovering the rear brake calipers are now the same as the LR variant, and are painted red and have a caliper cover to make them look larger. Not only do they have a caliper cover, but the rotor is also smaller and now appears to be the same size as the one found on the LR variant.
The change was spotted over the weekend by ZEVcentric, an aftermarket Tesla performance parts supplier in California who took delivery of a new Model Y Performance last month and shared several photos and videos of the rear brakes on Twitter. While from a distance and with the wheel still on the average owner might not notice the change, once the caliper cover is removed the difference is evident and we can see it is the same as the one found on the LR variant. We can also see in the image below the difference in the size of the rotor. (Left is Mando [new], right is Brembo[old])
ZEVcentric has not yet been able to compare brake pads to see if there has also been a change with those.
UPDATE 8:07AM PT: ZEVcentric has confirmed with Drive Tesla that the brake pads are smaller and are now the same as those found on the Model Y LR. They have also been able to confirm that the rotor is 2mm thicker on the Performance compared to the LR, so that now appears to be the only difference in brake components between the Model Y LR and Performance.
As noted by ZEVcentric, a smaller caliper and smaller rotor results in poorer braking performance with less stopping power. Others were quick to note that the average owner won’t notice a difference, especially with regenerative braking which results in many owners rarely even using their brakes, and due to the front brakes doing most of the work when it comes to stopping.
Where it might be a different story is if you take your Model Y Performance to the track where owners require sustained braking performance. With smaller parts the brakes should have a lower thermal capacity and heat up quicker, meaning the rear brakes could potentially fade sooner. It is worth noting however that no tests have been conducted by ZEVcentric, or anyone else, to compare the braking performance of the new and old rear brakes, and that when Tesla made the change back in August they said it would have no impact on braking performance.
As we noted at the beginning of this article, this is actually a change that Tesla made back on August 15, 2022, but is only being noticed now. Tesla’s Design Studio still says the Performance variant comes with “Performance Brakes,” the same wording that was used on the website prior to August 15.
According to other owners in Europe who replied to ZEVcentric on Twitter, Model Y Performance cars made at Giga Berlin still feature Brembo rear brakes.
If you have taken delivery of a Model Y Performance since August and want to know which rear brakes you have, simply tap on the caliper through the wheel. If you hear a hollow sound you have the Mando rear brakes with the caliper cover. You can also run your finger over the top of the caliper and if you feel a cavity then you have the caliper cover.
Let us know in the comments below which ones you have, and if you have any concerns if you have the Mando rear brakes.
As we took delivery of our 2023 Model Y last month. At some point Tesla decided to put caliper covers on the Performance Y. What does that mean? It's a smaller caliper and a smaller rotor which is the same on LR. So now you are just paying for the same brakes just red. pic.twitter.com/FXinpySrTu
— ZEVcentric (@ZEVcentric) January 8, 2023