Tesla Hides Downgraded 2023 Model Y ‘Performance Brakes’ Behind Fancy Red Caliper Covers


A change that Tesla made in the middle of last year is coming to the attention of owners and repair shops. It turns out that the smaller rear braking components on the Model Y Performance aren’t what they appear to be. Tesla is utilizing a red-painted caliper cover, not totally unlike the cheap ones you’ll find at your local AutoZone, to make the brakes look bigger.

To its credit, Tesla said last year that it was changing manufacturers for the rear calipers on the Model Y Performance. Older examples used Brembo components while ones built after August 15, 2022, use Mando products. According to DriveTeslaCanada, Tesla also said that the change wouldn’t impact braking performance.

Over the weekend, aftermarket Tesla performance parts supplier ZEVcentric noticed the change on a Model Y Performance that it had ordered. “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,” the shop said on Twitter.

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Functionally, the covers likely add no major benefit outside of an aesthetic improvement. On top of the change in caliper design, ZEVcentric also noted that these new brake components are almost exactly the same as those that come on the Tesla Model Y Long Range. The pads are identical to those on the LR in terms of size. The only measurable difference is that the rotor is 2mm thicker on the Performance version.

From the looks of it, the front brakes might be the same as well. The performance parts supplier noted that they look awfully similar next to one another but have yet to confirm similarities or differences aside from the fact that both are Brembo 4-piston setups. Either way, smaller rear rotors, and calipers have the shop feeling “duped” it says.

Tesla’s website specifically says that part of the Model Y Performance upgrade is “Performance Brakes” though they don’t specify what that means. “You pay for an upgrade and don’t get an upgrade. Paint is not an upgrade in my book much less a “performance” one,” the shop says. We can completely understand that take.

Image ZEVcentric on Twitter


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