TopClass 400: coach travel at its very finest
When it first launched the TopClass 400 in 2001, the Setra Bus and Coach unit took coach manufacture into a new dimension that provides the ultimate travel experience for passengers and driver alike, with an array of innovative
comfort-enhancing features such as anatomically designed seats, multimedia systems and versatile built-in galleys. The ergonomically styled cockpit neatly combines practicality with aesthetic appeal. The increased adjustment range for the driver's seat as well as the optimised arrangement and operation of all instru-mentation, controls and levers allows the driver to concentrate on the task in hand, which in turn benefits passenger safety.
European journalists from the motoring press had a host of good reasons to vote the TopClass 400 “Coach of the Year 2002” just eight months after its debut ap-pearance, with the panel of judges citing its impressive technology and a remark-able design that struck a perfect balance between form and function as just two of the reasons for their decision. The TopClass 400 boasts a state-of-the-art safety concept too. All of the coaches are equipped as standard with the same safety features as the ComfortClass 400 models, namely disc brakes, the Electronic Braking System (EBS), anti-lock braking system (ABS), acceleration skid control (ASR), Brake Assist (BA) and the Electronic Stability Pro-gram (ESP). ESP is a system that enhances active safety and handling stability by significantly lowering the risk of skidding when cornering or performing evasive manoeuvres. The Setra touring coaches are also available with both Proximity Control and the Lane Assistant as an option. The first of these safety systems regulates the distance from any vehicles ahead and the second monitors the dis-tance between the vehicle and the lane markings.
The TopClass 400 range comprises the S 411 HD club bus measuring 10.10 me-tres in length, the 12-metre long S 415 HD, the three-axle S 415 HDH super high-decker, the 12.99-metre long S 416 HDH, also with three axles, plus the S 417 HDH super high-decker measuring 13.85 metres. The premium Setra line-up is headed by the S 431 DT double-decker flagship model measuring 13.89 metres from front to rear. Setra purpose-designed the S 417 model for the North American market, adapting it to requirements in the US before unveiling it there in spring 2003. The S 415 HD, meanwhile, comes in a right-hand-drive ver-sion for countries where traffic drives on the left, such as the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Cyprus.
ComfortClass 400: taking economy and comfort into a new dimension
A new design, new vehicle lengths, a cockpit that has been redeveloped from scratch, plus a wealth of technical innovations both inside and out carve out a dis-tinctive identity for the S 415 GT, S 415 GT-HD, S 416 GT-HD and S 417 GT-HD models of the ComfortClass 400 range, taking the way in which economy can be combined with touring comfort into a whole new dimension.
During development of the ComfortClass 400, which made its debut in autumn 2003, Setra capitalised on the abolition of the legislation limiting buses and coaches to a maximum overall length of 12 metres and extended each of the four models in the range by 200 mm. The S 415 GT and S 415 GT-HD measure 12.20 metres, the S 416 GT-HD (which is available in both a two-axle and a three-axle variant) 13.02 metres and the S 417 GT-HD 14.05 metres in length. For vehicles which are deployed in the combined touring and excursion segment these are unprecedented lengths which create far more interior space compared to similar models.
The bodyshell of the ComfortClass 400, like that of the TopClass 400 touring coaches, is cathodic-dip primed for extra protection. A further keynote of the ComfortClass 400 is its redesigned cockpit with distinctive styling and controls that have been arranged ergonomically throughout. The coach-style driving area incorporates a joystick-type gearshift, integral navigation monitors, an extra bot-tle holder as well as additional stowage space for briefcases or roadmaps. For ComfortClass 400 models operating on rural regular-service routes, a ticket counter can be added to the cockpit without any difficulty.
Bus and coach operators have a choice of three power ratings for the climate con-trol system, depending on the overall length of the vehicle. The basic unit, which measures 2,680 mm in length and is mounted in the centre of the vehicle's roof, has 32 kW of cooling power and operates using six brushless, twin-radial evapo-rator fans and four condenser fans. It has a compressor displacement of 470 cc and is intended for use in the S 415 GT-HD and
S 416 GT-HD models. Measuring 3,200 mm in length, the “hot-climate” version is equipped with eight twin-radial evaporator fans and five condenser fans; the
air-conditioning compressor's displacement of 560 cc produces 35 kW of cooling power. This system is fitted in the three-axle S 417 GT-HD model as standard and is available for the S 416 GT-HD as an option.
Optionally, this system can be specified with a compressor displacement of 650 cc, increasing the cooling output to 39 kW. The 39 kW unit boosts cooling capacity in the longer vehicle models by around 15 percent. Thanks to this, the ComfortClass 400 three-axle coach models are able to achieve the same levels of heating, ventilation and air conditioning comfort as the models measuring just 12.20 m in length. This high-power version is recommended for use in hotter or tropical climatic regions, such as Southern Europe or Africa. A newly developed mixed circulation system for the roof-mounted air conditioning unit results in even temperature distribution in the interior of the vehicle. The low-maintenance air-conditioning system runs more quietly and achieves an impressive weight reduction of as much as 30 kilograms compared to the previous models.
The ComfortClass 400 is likewise available in right-hand-drive versions: Setra of-fers both the S 415 GT-HD und the three-axle S 416 GT-HD for countries where traffic drives on the left.
MultiClass 400: economy all the way from A to B
Regular-service passenger transport during the week and the perfect vehicle for excursions at the weekend: the MultiClass 400 is a master of flexibility and econ-omy. Setra offers bus operators a choice of six different models in this product segment. Measuring just 10.80 metres, the S 412 UL is the most agile of them and, with its 45 in-house manufactured “Transit” seats, has been specifically de-signed for regular-service operations. Its compact length makes it an ideal choice for cost-effective operation on regular-service routes in regions with challenging terrain, such as narrow, steep mountain passes. The rest of the MultiClass 400 line-up consists of the 12.20-metre S 415 UL, the S 417 UL measuring 14.05 me-tres long and finally the S 419 UL, which measures
14.98 metres in length. Roomy luggage compartments, comfortable seats and a wide choice of equipment options, including a galley, a toilet and air-conditioning systems, turn each of the models into the perfect bus-cum-coach.
And when a low-floor design is called for, the 12-metre S 415 NF and the 13-metre S 416 NF are just the job thanks to their entrance height of just 360 mm when 100% tyres with dimensions of 11 R 22.5 are fitted. The entrances lead directly into step-free interiors. These two models are therefore ideal for regular-service operations with a high passenger flow and are also ideal for ac-commodating parents with young children or wheelchair users. Their strong cre-dentials are backed up by ingenious door solutions, a number of cockpit variants, a range of destination indicators and a wide array of seating options.
With the unveiling of the new MultiClass 400 low-floor range at the IAA International Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover, the Setra brand has completed the migration of its entire bus and coach portfolio to the state-of-the-art 400 series. In the space of around five years, more than 20 new models were developed.