setting the bar high in the areas of efficiency, comfort, safety and value, and is already complying with the legal requirements of the future.
For Lothar Holder, Setra brand spokesperson at EvoBus GmbH, the new vehicle concept gives every reason to look to the future confidentially, "With the new ComfortClass 500 we are not focusing purely on the challenges our customers will be facing over the next few years. As a technology leader, we are also setting new standards in terms of design, aerodynamics and efficiency with this new generation of vehicles, enabling our customers to experience the future today."
A new design with softer lines
A prominent feature in the oblique view of the ComfortClass 500 is the sweeping aluminium strip with a new decorative element on the B-pillar. The lines sweep gently up and down around the entire vehicle. This helps to create a friendly 'face' at the front of the coach, whilst meeting all the aerodynamic requirements with its striking lines and smooth surfaces. Although designed and developed in Neu-Ulm, for the first time ever the vehicle's contours were tested and finalised in the in-house wind tunnel in Stuttgart-Unterturkheim.
Amongst the most clearly visible new features on the ComfortClass 500 are the re-designed front headlamps with LED daytime running lights and H7 dipped beam as standard. The newly developed reflectors ensure higher levels of safety due to better illumination of the road ahead.
A distinctive element on the sides of the vehicle is the dynamically sweeping beltline, which incorporates the three-dimensional brand emblem with the shiny silver Setra logo and acts as a support for the striking C-pillar. The downward lines in the area around the engine compartment serve to visually accentuate the new drive train. The 'aero tail' also adds to the new look of the ComfortClass 500.
Aerodynamic styling for greater fuel economy
The 20 per cent reduction in drag is a significant factor in terms of lowering fuel consumption by up to five percent. With the new 'aero tail' and a number of other details, the ComfortClass 500 achieves a drag coefficient of 0.33, an outstanding figure yet to be beaten in the industry. The engineers have restyled the front section of the ComfortClass 500 with larger radii on the roof vent. The A-pillar has also been re-designed to considerably reduce the loss of flow at the front and ensure that the air flows over this part of the vehicle body. This is also helped by the fact that the previously rectangular profile of the mirror arm has a more aerodynamic shape on the new vehicles. The aerodynamics engineers have also made a few pioneering changes to the rear section.
A world first in coach manufacturing: AquaBlade
The new AquaBlade flat-blade windscreen wiper system at the front of the vehicle, which distributes the washer fluid along the edge of the wiper blade, also helps to improve the aerodynamic drag. The water-distribution channel is incorporated into the wiper blade itself, ensuring an even distribution of the washer fluid. At 1,000 mm in length, the wiper blades on the AquaBlade system represent a world first in coach manufacturing.
A wider entrance area
In the ComfortClass 500, space has not been saved at the expense of passenger comfort. Instead, it has been achieved using a fully integrated approach. This is clearly evident at the front entrance area with three steps, which is now noticeably wider thanks to a front-end extension.
On the right-hand side next to the tour guide's seat, the ComfortClass 500 features an additional stowage compartment for brochures and other information material. On the other side of the entrance, a grab rail runs up the steps and sweeps harmoniously into the cockpit section. Inside the bicolour cockpit, the entrance area is in 'greige'. This colour combination is made up of grey and beige shades and creates a sense of warmth throughout the entire passenger compartment in the new generation of vehicles.
The front steps are a convenient 184 mm high up to the driver's area, and 220 mm high from there up to the walkway. In conjunction with the higher base frame, this step design means that the walkway no longer slopes in the front section of the vehicle. The steps at the rear entrance are 250 mm high.
Ergonomic: the new cockpit of the ComfortClass 500
Quick and convenient access to controls, optimised driving position, ergonomically enhanced suspended pedals and improved all-round visibility help to make the driver's work easier. The developers have included a number of driver utensils in their practical considerations and have created space for additional stowage facilities. Extra space is also offered by the storage bin in the centre console. At the heart of the re-designed cockpit is a high-resolution, high-quality colour display featuring the four circular instruments. The arrangement of the keys and the grouping of individual switches on the instrument panel in the driver's workstation have been completely re-designed by the developers. Everything is within easy reach.
The new 'Stacks and Cards' system is a sophisticated control concept that enables quick and efficient navigation between the individual menu groups (Stacks - such as route information or current vehicle data) and their sub-menus (Cards) via buttons on the steering wheel.
The ComfortClass 500 also features new buttons on the steering wheel with enhanced functionality, thereby reducing the number of switches on the instrument panel.
Coach Multimedia System: a harmonious blend of visual appeal and functionality
The standard Coach Multimedia System (CMS) stands for entertainment, information and functionality at the highest level. It is based on the two components of the integrated Bosch Coach Communications Center (CCC) and enhanced Coach System Extension (CSX). CSX is a bus-specific control unit fitted as standard, which enables the separation of function and sound - e.g. volume control - between the driver area and the passenger compartment at the push of a button.
New overhead compartments - open to everything
The interior floor-to-ceiling height in the ComfortClass 500 has been increased from 1,990 mm to 2,100 mm. The styled contour of the air duct opens out onto the side window. This allows more light into the vehicle and offers improved visibility out of the side window. The new vehicle generation has kept the tried-and-trusted system of open, clearly visible luggage racks, but the stowage compartments are now larger and easier to access.
Another highlight in the ComfortClass 500 is the new, graduated front dome with Setra logo and wraparound tinted glass at the front of the coach.
New fabric roof: stylish and practical
A fabric roof stretches across the centre aisle above the passengers' heads – an absolute first in bus manufacturing. This new concept makes the roof look like one seamless surface and the light colour adds to the new sense of spaciousness within the coach.
Modular service sets
The standard LED reading lights and air nozzles on the service panel have a modular structure and can be adjusted to the relevant seating layout if required. This new patented system offers a major advantage to coach operators who, in the event of a conversion, can flexibly adapt the controls to the new seating configurations using existing components.
Different lengths: Payload-friendly customisation
The ComfortClass 500 coaches are 95 mm longer than their predecessors. The new S 515 HD now has a vehicle length of 12,295 mm, while the width remains unchanged at 2,550 mm. The overall vehicle height with roof-mounted air-conditioning is 3,770 mm. The S 516 HD is 13,115 mm long, while the S 517 HD measures 13,935 mm in length.
The wheelbase has been increased by 10 mm and the overhang by 70 mm, while the angle of approach remains the same at 7º. On all high-roof variants, the angle of departure is 6.9º. The base frame of the vehicles has been extended by 40 mm compared with the previous model series. This has increased the luggage compartment volume from 8.4 to 8.5m³, or 9.7m³ if there is no WC.
Greater dynamics and improved safety with reduced weight
The shell is still based on the proven annular frame technology, but it is now much more rigid due to innovative lightweight structures with new node elements and optimised pillar cross-sections.
Selective use of high-tensile steels provides effective passenger protection, ensuring that all ComfortClass 500 models already fully comply with the more stringent R66/01 ECE regulation that will come into force in 2017.
New tyre pressure monitoring system for all-round safety and comfort
Significantly improved comfort, all-round visibility and safety is offered by the new tyre pressure monitoring system, which shows the driver the current tyre pressure in the cockpit display on request. In addition, the ComfortClass 500 is equipped with a new, extremely sensitive electronic level control system. Electronically lowering the vehicle body by 20 mm when driving above 95 km/h reduces the aerodynamic drag – this, in turn, results in a considerable fuel saving without detracting from the smooth running of the vehicle.
Enhanced safety systems
The enhanced Active Brake Assist (ABA2) with new radar sensor also initiates braking manoeuvres when approaching a stationary obstacle. The autonomous intelligent cruise control is responsible for maintaining a set distance from the vehicle in front. If there is no vehicle up ahead, the system automatically switches off at speeds below 15 km/h. This is not the case with the ComfortClass 500 on which autonomous intelligent cruise control is now also available with the extended Hold Assist function. This remains active even at lower speeds and enables the driver to return to the desired cruise control function at any time, even in stop-and-go traffic.
Attention Assist - placing the focus on the driver
For the first time ever, Attention Assist is being used in the coach sector. The system continuously monitors the physical condition of the driver based on certain criteria such as steering movements and braking, use of indicators, vehicle speed and the time of day.
Euro-VI for an ecofriendly future
The ComfortClass 500 is powered by an upright six-cylinder in-line engine from the new OM 470 series. The 10.7-litre unit delivers 315 kw (425 bhp) at 1,800 rpm and has a maximum torque of 2,100 nm at 1,100 rpm. The result: superb performance. The engine features the unique common-rail injection with wheel pressure booster (X-Pulse). This enables extremely precise fuel injection with cylinder-selective control, injection pressures of up to 2,100 bar and a freely adjustable injection process. This is important to ensure lower fuel consumption, reduced emissions and smooth engine running.
Further advantages come from the effective, considerably higher-performing three-stage engine brake and asymmetrical exhaust gas turbocharger. Despite exhaust gas recirculation, this ensures a quick response to accelerator pedal movements for greater agility. The torque characteristics of the new power plant enable unusually low, fuel-saving engine speeds. In addition to spontaneous acceleration, the engine, which virtually delivers full torque of 2,100 nm at just 1,000 rpm, also boasts enormous tractive power.
New GO 250-8 PowerShift transmission
In conjunction with the engines, Setra has also equipped the ComfortClass 500 with the new GO 250-8 PowerShift eight-speed transmission. The fully-automated unit is based on the well-proven GO 240-8 PowerShift transmission.
Combined equipment packages
In addition to numerous innovations in technology, comfort and safety, the new ComfortClass 500 concept also includes exclusive equipment packages. The Cockpit package, for example, focuses on comfort and combines special equipment for the driver's workstation, while the Visibility package comprises a number of safety features. The Assistant Systems package is also designed to enhance safety.