Stopping at race speed.
In the sea of selfsame Japanese brakes littering a given XC mass-start, a bike equipped with Magura USA's MT8 Next Disc Brake Set always stands out to us as the wheel to follow. This may seem a bit superficial, but really: if someone has maxed out his abilities to the point where every gram really does matter, then watch for him during the opening sprint, because you may not see him again before the podium presentation.
The MT8 Set combines Magura's tippy-top XC brake calipers and levers with the heavily machined Storm SL rotors and a variety of adapter mounts to bring your stopping power up to speed. The added confidence of Magura's legendary dual-piston hydraulic grabbers translates to carrying more speed into corners and terrain. The lightweight Carbotecture SL construction featured in the master cylinder of much of the Next line also shows up in the MT8 model, ensuring that that confidence doesn't come with a weight penalty on climbs.
The MT8s take it all to the next level, however, with the use of Magura's other proprietary carbon fiber, Carbolay, used wherever possible for maximum strength, weight savings, and heat management: lever blade, bar clamp, and just about everywhere else. You say carbon's not tough enough for such applications? There are stories and pictures of handlebars that have broken as a result of accident impacts taken directly to the MT8s — with the brakes sustaining no damage at all, and then being re-installed on the replacement bars without needing a single adjustment. If that's not tough hardware, we don't know what is.
Both the MT6 and MT8s' forged two-piston calipers are refined into an even lighter, stronger shape than the less expensive brakes in the family, saving a bit of weight and making the system more reliable. The brake pads are still top-loaded, too, for easy swapping, and any previous MT brake pads will work with the new calipers. But for the Next series, Magura engineered a new compound that increases friction, reduces noise, and prolongs pad life. As opposed to the MT2's fixed system, the MT4, 6, and 8s' caliper hose banjo is adjustable, to make it easier to route the brake's hosing, no matter where on the frame the caliper is installed.