Finding Home in Montana

Photographer, Alex Strohl, has adventure in his blood. His father, a Frenchman, was a forest engineer who worked throughout Southern Europe and North Africa. However, when Alex’s father decided to move somewhere more wild in the 1960’s he landed on Missoula, Montana.

So when Alex and his partner, Andrea Dabene, decided to make some roots and establish ‘home’, Montana was an easy decision. Alex loved its snow-capped peaks and untouched wilderness. Andrea loved Montana’s long, peaceful winters and beauty.

“Home is underrated,” Andrea said. “When you come back from your travels to reflect on where you’ve been, that’s when you really find yourself.”

“At home you’re lazy, then you’re hard on yourself,” Alex added. “You find a routine, and then you break it. It’s very revealing of who you are.”

Alex and Andrea are Land Rover enthusiasts and their Land Rover Discovery Sport is the perfect vehicle for their lifestyle and needs. At one point, they drove in a snowstorm 4 hours overnight to get to a backcountry ski resort. The Discovery Sport performed perfectly and they safely arrived at their destination, no worries.

The Montana nights are perfect for Alex. He enjoys using the night sky in his photography. “I feel very vulnerable, like a real outsider when I’m alone at night,” Alex said. “I look for clear moonless nights so we can photograph the Milky Way, or I like to find a body of water in the foreground so the stars reflect on the surface.”

Once the winter is over, Alex and Andrea will be heading to France to climb the Pyrenees, bike the Alps, and surf in the Basque Country. In Europe, they have a Land Rover Defender 110 to get around. Their Discovery Sport will wait for them until summer when they return home to Montana, ready to explore their ‘home’ once again. 

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LEGO World Record & All-New Discovery

Land Rover helped break a Guinness World Record by using a 22 foot LEGO replica of London’s Tower Bridge to assist in revealing the All-New Land Rover Discovery. The model, built by a team of master LEGO builders, was made using over 5,805,846 individual LEGO bricks, beating the previous record holder by just over 470,000 bricks. This gives the Tower Bridge model the title for Largest Lego Structure (most bricks). It was built over 150 days and even features a working drawbridge.

The reveal of the All-New Land Rover Discovery also featured two LEGO “Discovery Zones.” An Adventure Sone, which featured international explorer Bear Grylls, and an Equestrian Zone, which featured British rider Zara Phillips. The All-New Discovery, driven by Ben Ainslie, moved across the model followed by a life-size replica of the Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing Boat.

The All-New Land Rover Discovery is the most versatile Land Rover model yet. It comes with Land Rover’s new Intelligent Seat Fold technology which allows owners to configure the seven seats in their Discovery from anywhere in the world with their smart phone and plenty of storage.

Partnered with Meridian, a leader in high-performance audio technologies and digital sound processing, Land Rover has created 10 and 16 speaker advanced audio systems for the All-New Discovery. Both options feature Dynamic Volume Control technology to make sure all undesired noise is balanced out. Another technology perk of the All-New Discovery is the Optimal Rear Seat Entertainment system. This system provides 8 inch screens that are built into each front seat headrest. Mobile Hi-Definition Link and USB connections, WhiteFire digital wireless headphones, and HDMI are included.

The exterior of the All-New Discovery is truly designed for the next generation. The All-New Discovery demonstrates well-crafted and sculpted surfaces to showcase a new level of refinement. The interior was designed using inspiration from the classic Discovery. It uses strong horizontal and vertical lines. The interior also boasts a panoramic roof. This one-of-a-kind roof makes the cabin of the vehicle feel larger and provides plenty of natural light.

Grylls Tests Intelligent Seat Fold Technology

Bear Grylls and six members of the British Royal Navy Parachute Display Team tested Land Rover’s new Intelligent Seat Fold Technology by freefalling from 13,000 feet at 125 mph while configuring the seven seats of an All-New Land Rover Discovery via a smartphone.

In just 14 seconds, this brand new technology will allow the owner to remotely adjust the seats from anywhere in the world with the use of a smartphone. This eliminates the need for the owner to manually configure them, saving them time and effort.

Land Rover’s Intelligent Seat Fold technology will allow the owner to completely recline or fold down all five seats in the rear of the Discovery, in addition to adjusting the two seats up front. This new feature will allow owners to configure the seats in their vehicle while doing everyday things; such as waiting in line at the grocery store, or enjoying a child’s sporting event.

“I think the heart of Land Rover is all about pioneering adventure,” Grylls says, “you know having that spirit of discovery and going for things.”

“I think it’s all about doing stuff that is user friendly. The thing is the way to test user friendly is to do it in difficult environments. So that way we say, let’s try to configure a car in freefall. That, for us, is definitely sort of in the right space because you’ve got to be able to concentrate on the important stuff, which is pulling the parachute. This [Intelligent Seat Fold technology] needs to be easy to be intuitive and easy to do. If it’s complicated, then you’re in trouble.”

“The successful part is we did manage to configure this,” Grylls concludes. “The seats did flip down, we opened it up, done, ready to go, ditch the parachutes, in and out of there. So, mission complete.”

Next Generation of In-Car Music

Music lovers, rejoice! Land Rover has revealed a new way to listen to music while you drive! The world’s largest streaming service, Spotify, has joined forces with Land Rover to create this unique in-car app. The In-Car Spotify App will be able to be personalized based on the user’s preferences.

“Spotify has more than 100 million subscribers, a portion of whom drive Land Rovers, so we recognized that Spotify was the top of our customers’ apps wish list. The Spotify design team worked closely with us to create the best in-vehicle experience,” says Peter Virk, Director of Connected Technologies and Apps at Jaguar Land Rover.

Spotify and Land Rover spent a year working together to create this new technology. The new In-Car Spotify app’s interface is very similar to the Spotify app on users’ smartphones. This allows familiarity for the user which will eliminate distractions while driving. Users will also have the ability to swipe horizontally to look through menus, also eliminating distractions.

Similar to Spotify on a user’s smartphone or computer, the in-car app will have the ability to recognize the user’s listening habits so music is better catered to each individual. Personalized playlists with recommended music can be created for each individual. This saves the user time by eliminating the need to scroll through music.

Ricky Wilson, from the Indie Rock band Kaiser Chiefs, and Elliot Gleave, a singer better known by his Stage name, Example, tested out the new In-Car Spotify App before it was launched. Speaking on the phone while driving, they both shared what was on their playlists and what their favorite songs to listen to while driving are.

They shared a variety of different songs they enjoy listening to, including songs from Greenday and Morrissey. Ricky Wilson and Elliot Gleave’s playlists are available for everyone to listen to on Spotify via the official Kaiser Chiefs and Example profiles.