Why No Carbon Ceramic Brakes?
In short, I didn't purchase the additional $8000 carbon ceramic brakes (CCBs) since I didn't believe that the cost vs function was worth it to me.
The long answer is that since I wasn't going to track my M3 that often, I couldn't justify the purchase. For someone who goes to the track every other weekend that might be a different story. The point is, I could've gotten a lot more value with 8k. The executive package, adaptive M suspension, 19" rims, and extended leather would've all cost around the same as the CCBs. So if you're on a tighter budget, it would be wise to weigh the pros and cons of what you could buy instead of the CCBs.
Was I short on the 8k needed to get the brakes? No. If I was going to purchase an M3, the mentality was that I could afford the car in full. But I would rather have spent that money elsewhere doing something I thought was a better use of the cash. Daily driving the car from home to work and vice versa, the brakes would have made no difference whatsoever. Driving on long commutes or throughout the city, you don't need consistent maximum braking power. I don't think anyone would slam on their brakes more than once or twice at most and the steel brakes definitely can handle that. The steel brakes are fantastic as they are and have a really good bite to them. The carbon ceramic brakes are not made to let you decrease the braking distance but rather to allow consistent braking during extended use. For example, if you were to brake hard 100 times in a row, the CCBs wouldn't experience brake fade but on the steel brakes that might be a whole different story. The brakes can start to heat up and braking distance may increase. I would say buy the CCBs if you know or might possibly go to the track often. Otherwise, the 8k could be much better spent on say the competition package if you want some extra performance.
This is purely a matter of opinion but I sincerely liked the color of the blue brake calipers. And blue only came with the steel brakes, so I reasoned that along with cost savings I could have the car look nicer in my opinion. Some people care about color, some don't. Either way, perhaps just another reason to sway you to steel brakes or CCBs.
As a side note, if you are planning to buy the CCBs in order to not switch to lower gears going down hills or slopes, I would not recommend that at all. Going downhill you should definitely change to an appropriate lower gear. Even though the brakes are not going to start smoking or fading all the way down from Yosemite, replacing the brakes is going to cost a lot of money. So don't even think about doing that the next time you start blazing down the next hilltop. Do what's been tried and true, which is going into a lower gear.