Setra makes a new move
Daimler Buses North America unveils the ComfortClass S 407 at UMA Expo 2011
By David Hubbard
Setra motorcoaches have served North American operators for more than 25 years. First exhibited in the 200 Series, the Setra bus and coach brand has grown to stand for quality, comfort and luxury. Setra further refined the highend concept through its TopClass 400 Series, which the global bus builders first introduced to U.S. coach companies in 2003 at the UMA Expo.
Eight years later the Setra TopClass S 417 will now share its place in the North American spotlight with its new sibling, the all-new 45-foot ComfortClass S 407 manufactured precisely to North American standards. Daimler Buses North America, Greensboro, NC, will unveil the new coach later this month at the UMA Expo in Tampa, FL.
In contrast to the TopClass S 417 developed from the current generation of European Setra touring coaches, the company is introducing the ComfortClass S 407 as a vehicle to offer coach companies a competitive choice in the North America Setra line.
This altogether new product differs slightly from the premium S 417 coach in appearance. Setra assures the quality of the S 407 is every bit the same as all other members in the global family of some 14 coaches and transit buses. The design process entailed long and intensive North American operator surveys. According to Setra, American coach companies expressed very specific preferences and requirements that ultimately influenced the styling that distinguishes the S 407.
The most prominent differences that set this coach apart include the lower-mounted rearview mirror system and the American-made energy absorbing rubber safety bumpers (EASB) front and rear.
The bumper at the rear of the vehicle fixes to the framework neatly beneath the LED rear light system developed especially for the ComfortClass S 407. The front bumper folds down to allow access to the stowage compartment for the spare wheel. In a collision with any sort of obstacle the safety bumper and solid framework in the front area absorb the force of impact.
Setra says this new EASB system is in full compliance with the American APTA guidelines with the capability to resist a five miles-per-hour impact without any damage.
As with all Setra buses, the manufacturing process begins at the plant in Mannheim with the cataphoretic dip process that seals the entire self-supporting monocoque frame for improved resistance to corrosion. The priming provides a uniform coating of the metal surfaces and cavities throughout the framework. Setra then transports the coach frames to Neu-Ulm for assembly and delivery.
The ComfortClass S 407 comes standard with the 500R-horsepower Mercedes-Benz OM 471 engine in combination with an Allison WTB 500R automatic transmission, which complies with the EPA 2010 emissions standard. The MB OM 471 rated at 450 horsepower is optional. With this more powerful engine comes the choice of the automated 12-speed ZF-AS Tronic transmission or the Allison automatic transmission.
A 15-gallon tank for the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) integrated into the existing compartment that houses the 180-gallon fuel tank filled from either side of the vehicle.
The ComfortClass S 407 meets ADA wheelchair requirements with a cassette wheelchair lift that fits into its separate compartment on the center right side of the vehicle. As a special consideration to preserve valuable baggage space, the narrow lift compartment has its own door, making the larger space directly above available for additional baggage storage.
Other operator requests included lateral LED illumination along side for better lighting in front of the flaps and luggage doors, as well as auxiliary docking lights for maneuvering at low speed.
The rear wall of the coach features a closed window, LED lighting and sloped bumper design which operators requested to dissuade standing riders.
Inside the 56-seat cabin the ComfortClass S 407 features seating manufactured by Setra. Route, the name of the Setra commuter-style seating, comes standard with a three-point safety belt.
The interior LED ceiling lamps provide subtle green night lighting. The service sets above the individual passenger seats incorporate LED reading lamps and individual climate control.
With a slight adjustment to the lavatory design, the toilet faces against the direction of travel in case of an emergency stop. The lavatory maintenance is from the outside of the coach with no toilet component in the engine compartment.
The roof hatch opens manually with a simple control to facilitate the obligatory check prior to embarking. The integrated air conditioning in the ComfortClass S 407 has a cooling capacity of 39 kW and essentially incorporates the same components as the ventilation and heating system in theTopClass S 417. The use of identical components such as filters and blowers guarantees operators substantial cost benefits with regard to servicing and maintenance.
The cockpit fitted with a clearly laid-out control console and the dashboard comes in two different designs in accordance with the particular transmission.
The right-hand side of the cockpit comes in three variants; with a simple screen, with a cabinet for one or two refuse containers. The left-hand side, in which the parking brake is also integrated, includes space for an additional stowage compartment.
Production on the ComfortClass Setra S 407 begins in April in Neu-Ulm, Germany. BR