Innovative Setra appointments meet all the needs of the industry
Exclusive exterior and interior provide luxury setting for touring operations
Broad variety also stands the brand in good stead on regular services in Europe
Luxury long-distance touring, city trips extending over several days, club outings, rural services - with a diverse range of innovative equipment and solutions for the exterior and interior, the vehicles of the Setra brand have always had what it takes to meet the wide-ranging requirements and wishes of bus companies all over the world.
The fact that every bus service has its own individual needs poses a continual challenge for the staff in the areas of design, production and sales in their daily dealings with customers. Setra is pleased to rise to this challenge. The bus companies' personal tastes and their different passenger target groups are further factors influencing the required equipment and appointments for buses. Setra has been accommodating these needs in a highly individual manner for 60 years now. Setra understands that only a bus which is tailored to its specific application and the customer’s wishes can offer optimum economic efficiency.
Setra Voyage – the new seats for luxury touring
Mindful that comfort is the top priority for passengers, at last year's IAA Commercial Vehicles fair in Hanover the brand presented a totally new generation of seating which is produced at the Neu-Ulm plant. Designed for high-end touring coaches, the Setra Voyage line redefines the use of materials and colours for exclusive bus travel with the top variants Voyage Plus and Voyage Supreme. The seats combine superlative comfort with a high standard of safety, logical functionality and low weight. The latter aspect is particularly advantageous for two-axle buses in countries in which low permissible gross vehicle weights apply. In figures: in a 12 m long three-star touring coach, the new seats represent a reduction in weight of around 70 kilograms.
Fabric piping, leather head sections, bag hooks, waste containers, audio systems with headphone connections - a well-devised modular system allows bus companies free rein in selecting special seat variants. Customers are able to configure their seat designs from up to 85 different cushion fabrics at the Setra customer centre. Customised fabrics are additionally created at the nearby production shop.
3D Bus Designer: cutting-edge computer technology visualises customers' ideas
In a comfortably appointed Setra bus, the journey is a reward in its own right. With this in mind, the designers offer a broad range of seating variants. These include the 2+1 arrangement, which offers passengers adequate space for arms and legs. Three seats in a row represent superlative comfort, underscoring the high standards to which the Ulm-based Daimler brand aspires. A further outstanding example is the variant whose aisle-side seats are each positioned six centimetres towards the front. This provides for a comfortable feeling in the seats, with yet more room to move in the shoulder area and markedly improved visibility through the side windows.
The key address for design planning is the Setra DesignCenter, which offers customers a diverse range of interior design options. A vehicle must sport an attractive design if it is to serve as an eye-catcher for tourists and passengers and thus help to ensure the operating company's economic success. Competent advice on design matters thus constitutes a crucial criterion when choosing a new vehicle. With its 3D Bus Designer, the likes of which are not to be found anywhere else in the bus sector, the brand has introduced a state-of-the-art computer-based design facility offering the very highest standard of support tailored perfectly to customers’ needs. The Setra DesignCenter in Neu-Ulm makes easy work of crucial decisions on all points of detail, from the basic colour for the body, mirror shells or hub caps to the colour of the seat covers, curtain fabrics, platforms, luggage racks or the side wall panelling. In next to no time and with a minimum of effort, two 60" monitors provide bus operators with a clear picture of how their new bus will look, presenting it in three-dimensional form in the course of their discussions with the advisory staff. With eight million graphic elements at their disposal, they are able to view the latest TopClass, ComfortClass and MultiClass buses from any angle in three-dimensional mode.
Living-room feeling and technical refinements
Always a head of the times: in recent years, Setra has presented a succession of unusually appointed vehicles in the international arena, each demonstrating a new departure in the field of interior design. An S 416 HDH showed how a feeling of home comfort on the road can be combined with a wealth of functional fixtures and fittings, for example. The exterior appearance of the three-axle bus with glass roof presented a winning combination of elegance and exclusivity from the outset, the two exterior mirrors of the marron gold vehicle adding a definitive shine in chrome look. Inside, a light walnut floor conjured up the appearance of a ship's deck, while the 27 seats in 2+1 configuration and the cockpit were covered in dark brown and beige leather. Seats, ceiling and wall panelling and the integrated functional areas featured a harmonious array of high-quality textiles, real wood and high-gloss painted surfaces. In the area of the rear entrance the designers replaced the fitted kitchen with a 1.80-metre-high changing room which performed a dual function, a table surface integrated on top of the room doubling as a "mobile workplace" for use by passengers with standard notebooks. An additional treat for passengers came in the form of an iPod connection serving as an mp3 player, calendar, address book, world clock and alarm clock in one.
Setra offers a diverse spectrum of kitchens and toilets
Five basic kitchen variants are available in all, fitted with integrated coffee machines, microwaves, stowage compartments and flasks. Additional components, such as refrigerators, convection ovens or machines for hot and cold drinks, are optionally available for installation as custom-fit units in close consultation between the development and sales departments. The kitchens in easy-care plastic can be accommodated in the area of the central entrance, as upright elements behind entrance II, opposite entrance II or at the rear of the bus. It is equally possible to integrate a coffee machine in the tour guide's cabinet. Facilities in England and Turkey include hot water supply installations in the WC cabin. The kitchen elements are alternatively available with wood or resopal laminated finishes and with refined airbrush motifs. The same goes for the toilets, whose interiors consist of glass fibre-reinforced plastic. The toilet, which is available in three basic designs, is fitted as standard in front of entrance II. A toilet can also be fitted at the rear on request.
Ingenious lift systems for barrier-free travel
From touring coaches to regular service buses, the engineers at Setra have always focused their attention on developing vehicles which address the needs of disabled persons. In close cooperation with customers, the brand has developed various solutions for lift systems in recent years which enable barrier-free access to the passenger compartment. These hydraulically operated elements can be accommodated in space-saving configuration on the bottom step of the rear door, in the stowage compartment behind the drive axle or in the luggage compartment behind the front axle. Specially developed airline rails secure wheelchairs throughout the entire journey. On request, it is also possible to install large toilets at the rear of Setra buses and a special lift to transport disabled persons from their passenger seat to the toilet.
Grass-green lawns and fold-out counters
The latest example of the brand's vast innovative potential comes in the guise of the buses belonging to the Special Edition which Setra presented at the Setra Show which was held in Neu-Ulm in the autumn of the company's anniversary year of 2010. These models demonstrate the Ulm-based brand's continuing attachment to its historical roots. Setra's choice of materials and colours and a K logo designed to mark the company's anniversary adorning wheel hubs, steering wheel and the porcelain flower vase on the A-pillar recapture the feel inside early buses and revive the beginnings of bus construction 100 years ago with fabrics and materials, the likes of which have never been shown before.
After 60 years of development work, the engineers' inventive drive remains as strong as ever. The Daimler brand demonstrated as much when it presented buses with grass-green lawn-type floors and genuine stone veneer at the IAA Commercial Vehicles fair in 2010. Also on show at this fair was a TopClass bus with fold-out drinks counters.
Library bus and mobile x-ray laboratory
Over the past decades Setra has demonstrated time and again how, apart from lending itself to deployment as an extremely comfortable travelling and regular service vehicle, a bus can also be used for the most diverse applications: as a mobile x-ray laboratory in Austria, for example, as a recruitment station for the Canadian navy or as a tour bus to move famous rock and pop stars around Europe. A very special type of Setra bus is in service in the Netherlands, where a department of the Dutch justice ministry uses two special buses to transport prisoners. The two S 417 UL buses with GT-HD body incorporate a driver's cab with driver's seat and two passenger seats plus a cell compartment with 12 double and four single cells. This Setra is able to transport up to 28 offenders.
An exquisitely appointed S 415 UL of the MultiClass 400 series has been turning heads in Stuttgart for some months now. Light wood and a bold blue colour conjure up a congenial atmosphere inside this library bus, which boasts a number of ingenious technical features. The level and direction of the driver's area can be adjusted in next to no time, for example, to transform it into one of the two service points in the bus. The IT technology onboard this rural regular-service bus turned mobile library additionally offers extensive facilities for pursuing research throughout the system of Stuttgart municipal library covering all areas of interest and on the internet.
A very special regular bus service is in operation between Nuremberg and Prague. Omnibusverkehr Franken GmbH (OVF) runs a service between the Franconian city and the Czech capital with seven Setra S 431 DT double-decker buses, thereby closing a gap in the current rail network of Deutsche Bahn AG. The journey time of three hours and 45 minutes is one hour and twenty minutes shorter than the previously available services between Nuremberg and the Golden City. The buses run five times in both directions at two-hourly intervals from Monday to Friday. At weekends and on public holidays the buses complete the 300 kilometre trip six times. The buses are always a sight to behold at their stops in front of the respective main railway stations. The Setra double-decker buses appear in the timetable of Deutsche Bahn AG as official rail services, in keeping with which their design is reminiscent of ICE trains.
This form of use is also emulated by Germany's southern neighbours – the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) also offer connections with Setra TopClass double-decker buses outside of their rail services.
Versatility in regular daily service
Aside from the travel sector, Setra's MultiClass vehicles also accommodate customers' wishes and requirements. For regular services or excursions, according to the intended area of use the UL models are available with a functional straight front or a dynamically sloping front exuding the character of a touring coach. The brand also demonstrates diversity in European rural regular-service operations, offering various levels of air conditioning and numerous entrance and exit variants, including double-width doors. Setra also offers clearly visible solutions in the area of destination indicator systems. Customers can opt for the LED indicators offering a long service life and brilliant displays or the flat, space-saving LCD indicators which keep passengers informed by means of sharply defined displays. And those wishing to prevent malicious damage to their buses are recommended to cast their eyes over to France, where a bus company has had its Setra buses equipped with surveillance cameras to combat vandalism.
As of this year, the vehicles for rural regular-service operations are also being fitted with the new generation of seating, which meets all statutory requirements and standards regarding functionality and safety. The Setra Route seat model features ideally spaced fixed backrests and an aisle-side grab handle as standard. Here too, numerous options are available to customers, including adjustable backrests, footrests, upholstery variants and an anti-vandalism shell on the rear of the backrest.