The 80s – the glittering decade
SetraWorld Magazine

The 80s – the glittering decade

A decade rich in highlights.

In the 1980s, highlight follows highlight. With their multi-media supershow, Pink Floyd set a benchmark for the ages; the space shuttle lifts off; a certain cube captivates game fans across the world; the fall of the Berlin Wall ends the decades-long conflict between the Western and Eastern blocs.

The anniversary edition 1951 to 2021.

70 years of Setra, 45 years of the 200 series, 40 years of the double-decker bus, 30 years of the 300 series - the list could be continued. As part of our anniversary, we invite you to a very special trip. Get on board and ride with us. Through seven decades of Setra and the world events around it. What else would you do besides come on a trip with Setra?

All articles about 70 years of Setra

The eighties are a decade packed with superlatives, and technological progress makes giant strides. In Ulm, in 1981, the new Setra S 228 DT quite literally reflects a belief in “bigger is better”: the first Setra double-decker coach is the unchallenged star in the Setra sky. With its two passenger levels, it represents a true example of Setra fully capitalising on its great experience with the 200 series HDS models. Many proven components and parts from the standard range are incorporated into the S 228 DT. But this coach, with its combination of timeless elegance, outstanding value retention and functionality, takes things a big step further.

The 80s – the glittering decade

“For its double-decker, Setra makes use of its experiences with the HDS models in the 200 series.”

The 80s – the glittering decade

Passengers really develop a taste for the luxurious Setra Bistro Bus.


  • In November 1989, the Berlin Wall falls. Germany and the entire world celebrate the end of the Cold War.
  • This game of patience drove the world crazy. The Rubik’s Cube success story continues to this day.
  • The Live Aid concerts, initiated by Bob Geldof in 1985 to support Ethiopia, and which take place concurrently in London and Philadelphia, are the biggest rock concerts ever held.
  • 1981 marks the launch of the Space Shuttle, the world’s first reusable spacecraft, acclaimed as a technological masterpiece. For the first time in the history of space travel, a launch system is actually manned on its maiden flight.

The distinctive styling and imposing, aerodynamic front, without cumbersome overhangs, soon become the Setra S 228 DT’s most distinguishing trademarks. The attractive, streamlined coach soon embodies the best possible advertising vehicle for many operators. This truly exceptional coach combines extraordinary handling and drive qualities with high safety standards. And it soon epitomises the whole notion of ultra-comfortable coach travel.

Its popularity is reflected in amazing sales of 1,104 units from 1982 through 1983. The four-metre-high luxury coach is well received not only in Germany, but also abroad: in England, Sweden, Denmark, France, through to Switzerland, Italy and Austria. Even in the tiny Republic of San Marino, the Setra double-decker bus is a coveted favourite.

The 80s – the glittering decade

The very first four-metre-high, double-decker bus, the Setra S 228 DT, becomes the undisputed highlight of Setra’s touring coach range.

The 80s – the glittering decade

At the 1988 Autobus Meeting International in Poreç, the Setra S 216 HDS’s solar roof is honoured as a technological innovation.

The 80s – the glittering decade

This version of the S 215 HDH was deployed in North America.

In 1984, yet another milestone is achieved. This time in terms of safety: Kässbohrer is the first European commercial vehicle manufacturer to initiate standard-series integration of ABS in all its buses and coaches – an achievement crowning ten years of development and testing. As early as in 1970, work on the antilock braking system had begun in Ulm, although at the time suitable sensors, electronic components, and pressure control valves were not available. It was only in 1982 that the system, which was developed in collaboration with Bosch, could be introduced.

The fifteen-row S 251 HDH super high-decker defines 1984 as a time of new beginnings in the US market – almost exactly 30 years after the Silver and Golden Eagle. Experts praise the combination of advanced European coach design with American components. Encouraged by four successful years and 200 units sold, a version targeted towards the European market, based on the same type, is launched in 1988 under the “Transcontinental” name.

In 1988, Kässbohrer once again introduces a cutting-edge innovation when it presents another world premiere at the Autobus International Meeting in Poreç, then in Yugoslavia – a Setra S 216 HDS with a sunroof! The roof makes use of solar energy for the coach’s ventilation system and service equipment, without requiring power from the vehicle’s battery. And, for this very reason, Setra is honoured with the highest award in the “Technological Innovation” category.

At the 1986 IAA, the Kässbohrer S 228 DT Bistro Coach attracts a great deal of attention, bringing to life the whole idea of Setra’s commitment to customisation. A coach tour is practically transformed into a restaurant visit – a very appealing idea in the bus world. Although approximately 20 seats are lost in exchange for the bistro installation, the unparalleled luxury this offers customers makes the sacrifice more than worthwhile.

Welcome to Setra Buses

Please note: on our International Page we present the German product range. The content does not apply to all countries and certain features or descriptions may not be available in your country.

To visit a country specific page please select from the list.

Should you have any questions regarding Setra buses or our products, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to receive your comments.

Contact us by email