Buslovers – The new Setra ComfortClass 500 generation of touring coaches sends a very clear message at first glance, according to Setra. The message is that this is a bus with a dynamic, self-confident look, one that earns top marks for comfort and safety, and redefines the tour bus premium segment. The two-axle model S 515 HD, the two- and three-axle S 516 HD and the three-axle S 517 HD will all be launched in the autumn of 2012.
They are distinguished by the systematic refinements in design that continue to bridge the gap between traditional and modern bus values, says Setra. The familiar elements of the Ulm-based Daimler brand convey the classic Setra values of innovation, comfort, efficiency and safety, but in a new style.
A typical feature of the ComfortClass 500 is the curved side line, rising and falling gradually, with the new decorative element at the B-pillar, producing a gentle sweep that encircles the fully redesigned vehicle. In the front section, it gives the new tour bus a friendlier, yet at the same time more distinctive, face.
Two of the most striking features are the long roof drain at the front, and the much more rounded windscreen, which runs down as far as the front logo panel with the three-dimensional Setra lettering. The front, along with the redesigned outside mirrors, was optimised in the course of a painstaking development process that included countless hours of testing in the wind tunnel. In conjunction with the new aerodynamic rear section, and also additional individual measures, the CC500 achieves a drag coefficient of 0.33, a figure that up to now would have been considered unattainable in this segment. Also new are the modular-design headlight and indicator segments, featuring unmistakeable trim elements. These further underline the vehicle’s features such as high quality, safety and reliability, and gently introduce the encircling lines, which sweep upwards into the side areas like wings.
Not only does the ComfortClass 500 already comply with the Euro VI emissions standard for new vehicles, which is due to come into force in 2014, the overall concept also incorporates numerous safety regulations and legal provisions planned for the next few years. These include additional requirements for driver assistance systems, which will apply from 2015, as well as Regulation ECE-R 66/01, which introduces a stricter rollover standard for tour buses, and which will come into force two years later. In keeping with the Setra brand tradition, an intelligent lightweight construction concept was developed to meet the latter requirement, combining greater rigidity with less weight.
The new ComfortClass 500 will be powered by engines from the new BlueEfficiency Power generation from Mercedes-Benz. The new in-line, six-cylinder OM 470, with a displacement of 10.7 litres, has been optimised for fuel efficiency and performance, and generates 315 kW (428 hp) at 1,800 rpm. It achieves a maximum torque of 2,100 Nm at as little as 1,100 rpm. The aerodynamic design of the ComfortClass 500 and a raft of weight-reduction measures also mean that Setra will be presenting a tour bus in the autumn that, in addition to a host of exclusive equipment variants, has the added attraction of operating with reduced fuel consumption. busworld.org