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The brake system is one of the most critical car sub-systems for what concerns safety issues. Modern automobiles are equipped with anti-lock braking systems (ABS), which have improved passengers and driver security by automatically adjusting the braking force during braking in potentially dangerous conditions. For model-based control design techniques of ABS algorithms, satisfactory improvements may be achieved if a sufficiently accurate mathematical model of the brake system is available. Nevertheless, the control synthesis may become prohibitive for such techniques if the model is too detailed. In this paper a realistic, but simple, car brake system model for longitudinal control design purposes is illustrated. The model is built starting from the modeling of the individual components characteristic dynamics. A series of experiments are conducted on a FIAT car to identify the model parameters and confirm the simulation results.