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Small buses big on tradition
14.01.2016 - 01:00

German version

Small buses big on tradition
  • S 6 presented as the first Setra club coach in 1955
  • Buses for exclusive club excursions offered across all model series
  • S 511 HD rounds off the anniversary marking "60 years of Setra compact coaches"


Setra S 6 – 1955

It all began with the compact S 6

Measuring 6700 mm in length, the smallest Setra coach ever built stands for a grand and long-standing tradition. In the S 6 - the third model within Setra's first model range (10) - Ulm-based Karl Kässbohrer Fahrzeugwerke GmbH presented the world's first self-supporting compact coach exactly 60 years ago at the Geneva Motor Show. The development of this vehicle, which could accommodate up to 25 passengers, filled a gap in the Ulm company's young bus and coach range, as many operators were looking for a touring coach of up to a maximum of seven metres in length. The plans almost failed to come to fruition, however, as the necessary overhang of 2.6 m for a compact coach was not possible. There was also insufficient space for a normal suspension. The design engineers came up with a solution in the form of a chassis featuring independent suspension at the front and swing axles at the rear which was equipped with progressively acting rubber torsion springs and with a combined engine-transmission-differential unit in modular design.

The 2250 mm wide coach with extensive panoramic glazing was a resounding success among customers and journalists alike. The renowned tester Stephan von Szénásy noted at the time: "The vehicle is unusually agile in bends, displays no pitching vibration tendency even on country roads with poor surfaces and no unwanted antics with regard to road holding. Good brakes ensures an adequate safety factor for high average speeds."

A total of 1172 S 6 coaches were built and sold up to 1964.


Setra S 6 – 1955


Setra S 7 – 1965

S 80 was the club coach of the 100 model series

Characteristic features were independent wheel suspension at the front and the specially designed rear axle which enabled a very short rear overhang.

The agile S 80 of the 100 model series went into series production in March 1968 as a further development of the S 7, continuing the success story of the "junior" Setra club coaches. The 34-seater was 2300 mm wide, had an overall length of 7690 mm and was suitable for all types of travel use. Suspension, steering and seating comfort of the new coach, now with eight rows of seats, were designed as on a larger long-distance touring coach. As of 1975, the Setra brand also offered this model with an overall width of 2500 mm. Overall sales of the S 80 from 1968 up to 1977 totalled 1246.


Setra S 80 – 1968


Setra S 208 H – 1979

S 208 H and S 210 HD – the compact coaches of the 200 model series

The shortest version of the 200 model series was the S 208 H, which was presented as a prototype in Turin in May 1979. While all the models of the successful Setra 200 model series were now produced within a specially developed modular system, for construction design reasons the short S 208 H required a modified reversing transmission at the rear axle. A rear door was omitted in favour of the central entrance. Some countries also permitted the configuration with only one passenger door. In contrast to all other vehicles of the 200 model series, the S 208 H also lacked air suspension and a retarder. The turning circle of only 14.6 m made the coach ideal for narrow mountain roads. Like all the
other touring coaches, however, it came with comfort features such as reclining seats, extensive double glazing and the new cross-flow ventilation and heating system.

From April 1980 on, the vehicle was fitted with disc brakes on the front axle. In response to numerous requests from customers, the coach could also be ordered with a toilet, air conditioning and a narrow body variant of 2300 mm in width.

For more basic customer requirements, the vehicle was also available in a universal variant and with a split windscreen. The 7600 mm long coach was the successor to the S 80 and rolled off the production line 494 times in all between 1979 and 1983.

The S 210 HD also has its firm place in the lineage of Setra club coaches. Following the discontinuation of the S 208 H, the 9340 mm long coach was the first high-decker among the compact coaches in 1983 and the first model to feature a conventional rear-wheel drive, putting an end to the age of the special drives which were required for the S 6, S 80 and S 208 H.

Like all the other vehicles of its model series, the S 210 HD benefited from the electronically controlled heating and air-conditioning system and from the introduction of the ABS system as a standard feature in 1984.


Setra S 210 HD – 1979


Setra S 309 HD – 1994

S 309 HD of the 300 model series under the 9-metre mark

The S 309 HD which was introduced by the Setra brand in 1994 accommodated customers' wishes for the 300 model series also to include a touring coach of under 9 metres in length. For this 8870 mm long vehicle, the design engineers revived the special axle drive with a differential transmission adapted to higher levels of torque and output. A retarder was now also fitted as standard. The S 309 HD, which accommodated 33 seats, also broke new ground with a composite design consisting of a steel base frame and aluminium body. The most striking features of the 300 model series included the eye-catching "comet tail" behind the cockpit area and the newly developed integral mirror system, which combined with the new A-pillar design optimised for enhanced vision to offer the driver excellent all-round visibility.


Setra S 411 HD – 2001

S 411 HD of the TopClass 400 is the essence of agility

The shortest variant of the Setra TopClass 400, the S 411 HD measuring 10,160 mm in length, was also firmly established among coach operators throughout Europe in the exclusive club travel segment. In view of the impending switch to the Euro III European emissions standard, the S 411 HD was presented in 2001 with a vertically installed V6 engine. Following the comprehensive facelift for the Setra touring coaches in 2008, its compact length, a wheelbase of 3760 mm and an overhang of 2215 mm at the front and 2960 mm at the rear remained the essence of agility. With these dimensions and its small turning circle of 17,360 mm, virtually no narrow lane or tight bend was out of bounds for this two-axle coach. At 3760 mm in height, the S 411 HD was on a par with the S 415 HD with ComAir air conditioning, and with a width of 2550 mm the vehicle also offered the generous dimensions of a fully fledged high-decker touring coach with a host of equipment variants and comfort features. The small wonder equally met the needs of operators and passengers when it came to accommodating luggage. With a toilet installed, the S 411 HD offered a total luggage compartment capacity of 5.7 m3.


Setra S 511 HD – 2014

S 511 HD – the new small coach for big adventures

The current ComfortClass 500 also offers coach operators all the attributes of an exclusively appointed club coach. This year saw the launch of the most compact model of the 500 model series in the guise of the S 511 HD measuring just 10,465 mm in length. It is powered by the new OM 470 Euro VI engine. Whether as a luxurious VIP shuttle or for exclusive club trips - smaller tour groups are particularly happy to undertake extensive trips on this agile coach.

Thanks to its wheelbase of 5005 mm, the new member of the ComfortClass 500 which was unveiled in 2014 has a turning circle of just 17,468 mm. The high-decker lends itself to variable scopes of equipment, and with its compact dimensions it is predestined for the installation of variable kitchen modules or an exclusive club area in the rear – ideal for club outings or business meetings. The S 511 HD is also available with a rear entrance.


Setra S 511 HD – With rear entry

Text:
EvoBus GmbH - Setra Omnibusse
Photos:
EvoBus GmbH - Setra Omnibusse
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