News from DaimlerChrysler Buses 2007
Sep 04, 2007
World premiere of the new Setra TopClass 400
  • Touring coaches now even more advanced and attractive
  • Numerous customer benefits owing to extensive improvements
  • Active and passive safety at the highest level
  • Even more powerful engines
  • More space thanks to a longer front end
  • Pitch/roll control and trailing axle with independent suspension
  • Further weight reduction
  • TopClass 400 voted "Commercial Vehicle of the Year" for the third time
  • Numerous safety systems
The highlight of this year‘s presentation at the "Busworld" fair in Kortrijk, Belgium, is the new TopClass 400, which is now even more attractive. For although the brand can be more than proud of its high sales figures, positive customer response and numerous international awards, Setra continues to strive for constant improve­ments in quality, technology, safety and comfort. Accordingly its development engineers and designers have worked together closely with the production and sales divisions to introduce numerous technical solutions and further developments in all the models of the TopClass 400 touring-coach generation - with the exception of special versions such as the right-hand-drive variant.
Numerous customer benefits owing to extensive improvements
Werner Staib, Head of the Setra Bus and Coach unit, is proud of the fact that the refinement of the top Setra touring coaches has been increased even further with­out losing the unmistakable Setra look: "Our aim was to achieve the maximum in technical improvements with the minimum of visual changes."
Active and passive safety at the highest level
The first priority in this comprehensive facelift, which will be seen for the first time in a S 416 HDH and a S 415 HD in , was given to safety. With this in mind Setra offers the TopClass 400 series with a movable cockpit and an integral absorber structure as standard. The interaction between these two sub-systems has been optimised in countless crash simulations, resulting in a marked improve­ment in passive safety for the driver and courier. The effectiveness of this safety system has also been demonstrated in several crash tests. Both the movable cock­pit and the absorber structure are components of the new Front Collision Guard (FCG) system, which also includes an underride guard according to ECE-R 93 for the protection of other road users in the event of an accident. These three letters thus stand for the outstanding protection enjoyed by the driver and passengers in Setra touring coaches.
While FCG significantly improves passive safety, there are also new features in the area of active safety. For example, a new lighting unit in the front end illuminates the entry to road junctions when the vehicle turns into them. At speeds below 40 km/h, the relevant foglamp is automatically activated when an indicator is switched on and functions as a cornering light.
The models in the TopClass 400 series are now also equipped with light and rain sensors which respond automatically to changing weather conditions, switching on the headlights or windscreen wipers as the situation requires.
The two marker lights on the upper front corners now have LED technology for a significantly longer operating life. What is more, a new wiper control system ensures that the wiper blades are slowed down just before the reversing point, which considerably reduces the noise generated by the wiper system.
Even more powerful engines
Yet another quality improvement is not obvious at first sight, but definitely notice­eable when operating the accelerator: from now on, coach operators are able to rely on more power. This means that the Setra will comfortably and smoothly over­come even the most severe gradients. Considerably more powerful engines are now installed beneath the redesigned engine cover, which no longer lifts up but is of a pivoting design to deflect rainwater. Setra now offers the S 415 HD, S 415 HDH, S 416 HDH and S 417 HDH with the OM 457 LA six-cylinder in-line unit generating 315 kW/428 hp and 2100 Nm or 335 kW/455 hp and 2200 Nm. The V8-cylinder OM 502 LA with 370 kW/503 hp and 2300 Nm is available on request, and is installed as standard in the double-decker S 431 DT. The compact S 411 HD tou­ring coach is equipped with the V6-cylin­der OM 501 LA with 300 kW/408 hp and 1900 Nm. Another new feature is the Power-Shift GO 240-8/MPS automated 8-speed manual transmission, which is available as an alternative to the ZF-AS Tronic. All the engines meet the Euro 4 exhaust emission standard, and also the Euro 5 standard as an optional feature.
More space thanks to a longer front end
The new TopClass 400 not only has more performance to offer. It also scores major comfort points with both the driver and passengers thanks to a 200 mm longer front end structure. 14 centimetres more bodyshell length allow even further ad­just­ments for the driver, while the courier benefits from seven centimetres and now enjoys the legroom normally only found with 4-star seating.
The S 411 HD has a slightly shorter front end extension, while the Setra "Club Coach" with its compact length of 10.16 metres remains the most "agile" member of this touring coach family from .
The wheelbase of the S 415 HDH has been increased by 100 mm, now making the vehicle length of this 3-axle coach 12.30 metres. As well as that, relocating the driver’s rest area behind the second entry means that the super-high-deck models S 415 HDH, S 416 HDH and S 417 HDH have additional space for a second courier seat. And boarding or alighting via the rear door is even more convenient in these coach models, as Setra has equipped the super-high-deckers of the new Top­Class 400 series with an additional exit aid.
Pitch/roll control and trailing axle with independent suspension
Where ride comfort is concerned, passengers are also thoroughly spoiled by Setra. By applying controlled counter-action, the optional pitch/roll control ensures that the vehicle will not develop uncomfortable body movements, and will continue to glide along smoothly both on bends and on uneven road surfaces. This is also in part due to the trailing axle with independent suspension, which has been inte­grated into the TopClass 400 for the first time. This ensures outstanding smooth­ness and also makes a weight reduction of 160 kilograms possible.
Further weight reduction
In this respect too, the comprehensively upgraded touring coaches have plenty to be proud of. This is because despite a number of weight-increasing improvements, the gross vehicle weight of these models has been reduced by one per cent. This is in part due to the omission of a luggage flap on the left side, a new feature which makes access to the luggage compartment considerably more easy and convenient.
But it is not only in this way that the appearance of these models has been changed: the rubber surround on the windscreen is now a thing of the past, an improvement which also helps to reduce fuel consumption.
The newly integrated cornering light function and an increase in the approach angle help to ensure that the Setra puts on an even more welcoming face in future.
Naturally the other main beneficiaries of the model facelift are the drivers, who will feel even more at home as a result of several new cockpit features which make their workplace increasingly similar to that of a passenger car. These include a redesigned joystick, a leather-covered multifunction steering wheel with a host of integrated functions and the new instrument cluster with a clear 3D look.
TopClass 400 voted "Commercial Vehicle of the Year" for the third time
With the presentation of the TopClass 400 in 2001, Setra opened up a new dimen­sion in touring-coach engineering which guarantees the highest standards of trave­lling refinement for both the driver and passengers, as witnessed by the innovative comfort features with contoured seats, multimedia systems, versatile galley sys­tems and the unique glass roof above the centre aisle. The ergonomically designed cockpit combines elegant practicality with an attractive appearance. A wider range of adjustments for the driver’s seat, plus the improved layout and operation of the instruments, switches and control stalks, ensure that the driver is able to concen­trate on his tasks for the benefit of passenger safety.
It is not by chance that just eight months after its first appearance, the TopClass 400 was voted "Coach of the Year 2002" by European motoring journalists. The jury particularly praised the sophisticated technology and the striking design as a symbiosis of form and function when making its choice.
The latest award was received just a few weeks ago, when Setra was voted the winner in the 11th readers’ poll in the "High-deck touring coach" category for the "Best Commercial Vehicles of the Year" by around 8500 participants. Which means that this premium touring coach has emerged the winner in this prestigious competition for the third time in succession.
Numerous safety systems
The TopClass 400 is also "best in the class" where safety is concerned, i.e. it represents the state of the art in technology. Like the ComfortClass 400 buses, all models are equipped with disc brakes, the Electronic Braking System (EBS), the anti-lock braking system (ABS), acceleration skid control (ASR), Brake Assist (BA) and the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) as standard, the latter being an active system for improved driving safety and handling stability. Since 2005, Setra touring coaches have also been available with proximity control (ART) on request, a system which eases the driver’s workload on motorways and major highways. When ART detects a slower-moving vehicle ahead, it automatically brakes the coach until a distance preset by the driver is reached. This gap is then constantly maintained by ART. Since 2005 Setra has also offered the Continuous Braking Limiter (DBL), which auto­matically brakes the coach, for example if it exceeds the legally prescribed speed limit of 100 km/h by accelerating under gravity on a downhill gradient. Setra also offers Lane Assistant (SPA) as an option. This system uses a video camera to monitor the distance between the vehicle and the lane markings and detect any tendency by the vehicle to depart from its lane. If the vehicle appears likely to cross this line, the driver is immediately warned by a pulsating mechanism in the seat – which goes unnoticed by the passengers. This vibratory, side-specific warning is given by two vibration motors installed at thigh level within the seat cushion, which effectively alert the driver if the coach threatens to cross the lane markings unintentionally. When leaving the lane on the left side, the vibration is felt on the left side of the seat – causing the driver to correct the steering intuitively. The warning is only given when the vehicle reaches the outside edge of the lane marking, which gives the driver the greatest possible scope for remedial action. Lane Assistant is activated at speeds above 70 km/h on long, monotonous motorway journeys, for example.
The TopClass 400 generation comprises the 10.16-metre-long S 411 HD Club Coach, the 12.2-metre S 415 HD, the super-high-decker S 415 HDH with three axles and a length of 12.3 metres, the three-axle S 416 HDH with a length of 13.19 metres and the 14.05-metre-long super-high-decker S 417 HDH. The flagship in this Setra premium range is the 13.89-metre-long S 431 DT double-decker coach. A coach specially developed for the North American market is the S 417, which has been adapted to meet the local regulations and was first presented in the in spring 2003. With a right-hand-drive version of the S 415 HD, Setra is also in the market with the Top­Class 400 in countries with left-hand traffic, such as , and .
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