The TopClass generation of touring coaches comprises seven different models. These include the 10-metre-long S 411 HD Club Bus, the 12-metre-long S 415 HD, the three-axle S 415 HDH at 12 metres long, the similarly three-axle model S 416 HDH at 13 metres in length and the 14-metre S 417 HDH. The flagship of this Setra premium product range is the almost 14-metre-long S 431 DT double-deck coach. The final variant is Setra's new TopClass S 417 model, specifically designed and configured to meet the requirements of the North American market.
The market launch of the TopClass 400 in 2001 saw Setra take bus travel to a whole new level, so making the brand's presence in the international bus sector very clearly felt. The TopClass 400 range of touring coaches is synonymous with innovative features that enhance comfort, such as back-friendly sets, multimedia systems, a versatile range of kitchen units and - as an option - a unique glass roof over the centre aisle. The ergonomically designed cockpit neatly combines elegant functionality with aesthetic appeal.
Just eight months after that first appearance, the TopClass 400 was voted "Coach of the Year 2002" by a panel of specialist European journalists. The key factor determining the jury's decision was the symbiosis of form and function represented by this convincing package of impressive engineering and distinctive design. Numerous international awards and accolades have followed since.
All vehicles in the new TopClass are fitted with disc brakes, the Electronic Braking System (EBS), anti-lock braking system (ABS), acceleration skid control (ASR), Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Stability Program (ESP), an active system that enhances handling safety and driving stability. Setra also offers these vehicles with the Lane Assistant system, which warns the driver if the vehicle strays out of lane.
A comprehensive facelift in 2008 brought an extra focus on safety. Since then, vehicles from the Ulm-based bus brand's new TopClass range have been available as standard with, amongst other features, a Front Collision Guard (FCG) - a module that pushes the entire driver's area rearwards in the event of a collision - as well as an integrated absorber structure.
Towards the end of 2008 Setra then supplied the first touring coach to feature Active Brake Assist (ABA), also known in the industry as the advanced emergency braking system. In the event of a risk of collision with a slower-moving vehicle in front, ABA issues an escalating series of warnings before ultimately initiating emergency braking. The system is linked to a proximity-controlled cruise control system, whose sensors it uses to identify "obstacles" ahead.