SKF and Pagani form technical partnership to develop high-tech bearing solutions

08 May 2023

SKF and Pagani S.p.A. recently announced they have formed a technical partnership to develop lightweight, low-friction bearings for Pagani’s hypercar vehicles. The two companies have enjoyed a 25-year automaker-supplier relationship.  

“The co-development of these new bearings with higher load and lower friction capabilities is an exploration towards the best wheel-end performance in the history of cars.” – Philipp Herlein, Head of Global Vehicle Aftermarket at SKF.

Pagani S.p.A is an Italian hypercar manufacturer established in 1998 by Horacio Pagani. The company rapidly made its name as a constructor of bespoke automobiles using technologically advanced materials such as carbon fibre and titanium. SKF is proud to be a technical partner, equipping new Pagani creations with the very latest SKF wheel bearing technology.

SKF has been supplying bearing solutions to Pagani from the automaker’s foundations, from the very first iconic Zonda C12 supercar to the very latest stunning Huayra R and Utopia hypercars. In the supercar and hypercar segments the principal challenge is to combine high-tech bearing solutions with peak performance and high endurance road car specifications. The design of our new wheel bearings features low friction, low weight, and therefore low car emissions. We use lightweight ring designs with optimized use of material to reduce weight, polymer cages for low weight and low friction, and ceramic balls that weigh 126 grams less per wheel compared to steel balls. This innovative approach and technology positively impacts safety and sustainability across the industry, contributing to SKF’s goal to be completely carbon neutral by 2030.

Hypercar manufacturers expect the best in performance and quality, and at the same time they want something unique in terms of lightweight and low friction solutions, with a high integration of functionality and features.

The partnership focuses on developing hybrid bearing solutions, which combine steel outer and inner rings with ceramic balls or rollers. SKF hybrid bearings make use of silicon nitride rolling elements—ball bearings, cylindrical roller bearings or custom designs—which have properties that are distinct from their standard steel counterparts. Silicon nitride is more than twice as hard as bearing steel and has a higher compression strength and elastic modulus, providing superior performance and wear resistance while reducing friction, a key advantage of hybrid bearings. Reducing bearing friction can help reduce energy consumption. SKF tests have proven that hybrid bearings at high speeds have 5% to 8% less friction that steel bearings.

“With our Racing capabilities we support Pagani´s roadmap of reaching the highest performance level in the hypercar segment. Therefore, we have been continuously developing specific low friction solutions for Pagani’s platforms over the past years. The racing segment is also a very emotional effort for us and resonates well with our Independent Aftermarket end users to showcase to the market our knowledge engineering and manufacturing spirit.” –Herlein.

The success of this collaboration lies in the innovation and leadership of both companies throughout history. For both of us, modern technologies and the contribution to environmental protection are two of the cornerstones for our growth in the automotive sector. We believe in this solid, long-term partnership with Pagani, which is central to a successful collaboration for the benefit of both parties in the future.


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