The German company Setra is part of the EvoBus group owned by Daimler AG together with Mercedes-Benz. Here is the latest TopClass coach.
The history of the German company starts thanks to a brilliant intuition of Karl Kässbohrer. In 1907, the builder developed a combined van with a body and a canvas cover. The idea was to use the bus to transport the heavy beer kegs during the week, while at the weekend it became a sightseeing bus in a few simple steps. From the bottom of the box, benches with folding backs were pulled out on which tourists could sit.
Considering the success, in 1911, Karl launched the first public bus, on a Saurer chassis, for the transport of 18 passengers. The creation of an imposing vehicle capable of carrying so many men had a certain relevance even in the years of world conflicts. Following the crisis of 1929, the company was reorganized, with Karl junior producing truck and trailer bodies, while his brother Otto took care of passenger car and bus bodies. His father Karl Kässbohrer had already planned a bright future for the company when he died. In the 1930s the first heavy vehicles arrived with a 20 quintal chassis, large side windows with crank-operated sliding glass, sliding roof with rounded glass on the sides.
Basically the buses were transformed, thanks to the intuitions of Karl’s children, into luxurious vehicles, equipped with toilets, reclining seats and even a kitchen and heating. The success was impressive and Karl Junior and Otto invested the sums in the construction of the largest bus everand, in 1939, with a Mercedes Lz 8000 engine. 120 seats plus another 50 for a 18.7-metre heavy vehicle. Once the Second World War was over, Kässbohrer resumed the production of buses, launching the Setra S 8 at the 1951 Motor Show. A real beast capable of not stopping on 30% slopes, consuming 19 liters of diesel every 100 kilometers.
Setra, evolution in the name of tradition
The company immediately represented a point of reference, presenting sensational innovations for those years. The word Setra originates from the German word “Selbsttragend” which means “self-supporting”. In 1959, Europe’s first self-supporting articulated bus was produced with the Setra SG 165. Over the following decades, the TopClass, ComfortClass and MultiClass series appeared. The new Setra ComfortClass and TopClass attracted attention at the Ibe Intermobility & Bus Expo in Rimini. The new generation of Ulm coaches (formerly Kässbohrer) have a modern look and a redesigned frontputting comfort and safety first.
The TopClass coach, as you may have guessed from the name, represents the ultimate in elegance and robustness. Three super-high HDH models, high-decker-high, on three axles: from the S 515 HDH to the versatile S 516 HDH and the extremely powerful S 517 HDH, from 12.5 to 14.2 meters in length. Impressive load capacity for passengers’ luggage and plenty of space on board. The design highlights the extreme quality of the project. The new model, with metallic denim blue paintwork for the bodywork and detachable parts, is very eye-catching. Also take a look at the Fiat Landtrek. Will it arrive in 2023? Here are its possible forms (VIDEO). Is Ferrari also launching a pick-up? Here’s how it could be.
The interiors of the German coach are top-of-the-range with wood-like floors, partition walls, Setra Voyage travel seats with a combination of multiple composition fabrics, headboard and borders in perfect combination with the color of the flooring. The Coach MediaRouter allows access to the Internet while the new Coach Infotainment Series multimedia system, with foldable 21.5-inch screens, offers unique on-board entertainment. Every single element is designed for maximum comfort, precisely to make the movements of the many passengers pleasant. Inevitable USB sockets between the seats to have the opportunity to recharge mobile devices.
The backlit step with the writing of the German brand is a gem that passengers observe at every boarding on board. The kitchenette is complete with every tool, including the refrigerator. There is a very functional bathroom. Safety, the mantra of the brand, is put first. Present the Active Drive Assist 2, crucial for the automated driving of touring coaches, including Active Steering Assist, Active Brake Assist 5, adaptive cruise control, the latest generation of Predictive Powertrain Control, Sideguard Assist and the tire pressure monitoring system.
The TopClass coach is equipped with LED headlights and 360° camera systems to make life easier for the driver. Check out the video below from the Alpha SQUAD official YouTube channel. The many driving aid systems are functional for ever more comfortable journeys, but the driver must remain vigilant, always being responsible. The TopClass is the flagship of a spectacular rangebut we are sure that the brand will continue to amaze us in the future as well.
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