Mike Cross, Jaguar Land Rover’s chief engineer for vehicle integrity, responsible for the trademark handling, comfort and precision of all the group’s models, has won Autocar magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award. This accolade follows his Dynamicist of the Year prize in the 2016 Vehicle Dynamics International Awards. You can read an interview with Mike HERE.
Cross joined Jaguar Cars in 1984, and became chief engineer across the Jaguar and Land Rover brands when they merged in 2008. He has personally fine-tuned and given final sign-off on each and every Jaguar and Land Rover model since.
Cross is a talented engineer and also a talented driver; indeed he has been described by Sir Jackie Stewart as “the best driver outside motor racing” – talent he has applied in developing the driving capabilities of vehicles ranging from off-road Land Rovers, to luxury Range Rovers, to performance Jaguars. Cross’s challenge is to imbue each and every one with unique driving characteristics that have global appeal.
Prof. Dr Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover CEO said, “Mike has been an absolutely integral part of the global success of Jaguar Land Rover. With a deep-rooted passion for driving – not to mention a seemingly limitless depth of talent – Mike has helped us to develop some of the most admired cars in the world. Experiencing Mike’s creativity first-hand is extremely special; not only is he enormously fast behind the wheel but he drives with a level of precision and safety that places him almost in a class of his own. We’re extremely grateful for everything Mike has achieved and hope to have his technical excellence with us for a long time yet.”
So with a wide range of models under his belt, which has been Cross’s favourite project? “Out of all the Jaguar cars I’ve worked on, one of my favourites was the Jaguar XFR. We were going head-to-head with models that were previously thought to be unbeatable, and all of a sudden the XFR was winning magazine group tests against the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes.”
“I’ve also been lucky enough to drive some incredible machinery over the years, all of which have – in their own way – shaped my opinions on driving dynamics. Day-to-day I ride a number of Ducati superbikes, which constantly remind me of the thrill in unadulterated speed but, almost at the opposite end of the scale, the beautifully agile chassis of the Ford Escort Mexico is enough to place it at the very top of my list of favourite cars.”