A very special moment.
SetraWorld Magazine

A very special moment.

It's finally here: the next generation of the Setra TopClass.

What is the best way of approaching the next generation of TopClass? Ideally together with someone who knows all about the new flagship for tour coach companies. A meeting with project manager Martin Jendrusch.

“Swish!”, the TopClass door 1 swings outwards gently, giving a view of the entrance. A sound you’ve heard thousands of times. Only this time, you can also hear a hint of relieving tension in the hiss of the compressed air. Now free of the black and white patterned camouflage, it seems that the blue S 516 HDH is longing to finally to show what it's made of.

The tale of the next generation Setra TopClass began at the end of 2016. Under the leadership of Martin Jendrusch, a project team started up across three locations: Mannheim, Neu-Ulm and Hoşdere. The first prototypes were already in operation two years later. Jendrusch: "We really put the TopClass through its paces. Heat testing in the Sierra Nevada, cold testing in the Arctic Circle, endurance testing in Turkey – we put it through everything." Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the developers had to contend with many adversities and delays. This is why the presentation of the next generation of TopClass was a very special moment for Martin Jendrusch.

“The hold function is both a convenient aid as well as a safety feature.”

Martin Jendrusch, Project Manager for Setra
A very special moment. – It's finally here: the next generation of the Setra TopClass.

Its camouflage about to be removed: the TopClass shortly before its unmasking.

The project manager invited us into the bus with a welcoming gesture. At the front of the bus, the TopClass welcomes its driver with a technologically upgraded cockpit. Martin Jendrusch points out a small but superb optional feature of the new electronic parking brake: the hold function. When coming to a stop, the applied brake pressure remains until the driver releases the foot brake again with a brief push. Martin Jendrusch: “A convenient aid and a safety feature at the same time.”

What immediately stands out is the new Coach Infotainment Series. “This transforms the bus cabin into a rolling digital network,” said Martin Jendrusch. “With integrated navigation and complete voice control for all of the essential functions.” And the passengers also benefit from this: streaming options complete the package. As a demonstration, Martin Jendrusch extends the full HD monitors in the passenger compartment with the push of a button. Thanks to its thinner rims, the screen size has now grown to 21.5 inches.

Martin Jendrusch now turns his attention towards the passenger area – as we all know, this is particularly generous and opulent in the Setra TopClass. The next generation of Setra super-high-deckers welcomes us here with elegantly designed, new partition walls. The Setra brand emblem is proudly emblazoned at the top. Below it, inserts made of tinted and satin-finished glass open up the space. The interior design makes an attractive impression with its selected decors, high-quality surfaces and materials. The new air vents, adjustable in any direction, immediately catch the eye when looking upwards.

The unique comfort of the next generation TopClass also includes a revised colour concept for the interior. The built-in parts and balustrade covers are now in plain black. “This conveys both understatement and class,” explains Martin Jendrusch. And they have a pleasant side effect: the blue passenger seats stand out much better in such a muted colour environment.

A very special moment. – It's finally here: the next generation of the Setra TopClass.
A very special moment. – It's finally here: the next generation of the Setra TopClass.
A very special moment. – It's finally here: the next generation of the Setra TopClass.
A very special moment. – It's finally here: the next generation of the Setra TopClass.

Relaxing in the S 516 HDH is no problem thanks to its exclusive comfort features.

We sat down on the comfortable Voyage Ambassador seats and chatted with Martin Jendrusch about the assistance systems. “The Setra TopClass embodies the benchmark for safety technology in touring coaches,” explained the project manager enthusiastically. Would you like some examples? Certainly! The fifth generation of the standard Active Brake Assist achieves yet another higher level of performance. As the world’s first advanced emergency braking system for tour coaches, the ABA 5 can now even perform an automated full braking manoeuvre before moving and stationary pedestrians up to a vehicle speed of 50 km/h.

The optional Active Drive Assist 2 takes a big step in the direction of autonomous driving. Here, all assistance systems work hand in hand, Predictive Powertrain Control, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Guard System, now enhanced by an active steering assistant. It keeps the bus at an adjustable target position within the lane, either exactly in the middle or slightly offset to the left or right. “The Active Drive Assist 2 thus makes a major contribution to relieving the strain on the driver,” says Martin Jendrusch.

“Active Drive Assist 2 thus makes a significant contribution to relieving the burden on the driver.”

Martin Jendrusch, Project Manager for Setra
A very special moment. – It's finally here: the next generation of the Setra TopClass.

A very special moment. – It's finally here: the next generation of the Setra TopClass.

We finished up our discussion about the new safety systems. The tour continued through door no. 2. Along the new chrome-plated side character element, it was time to step in front of the vehicle. Martin Jendrusch pointed to the family's strikingly designed new face with the even brighter standard LED headlights. And to the new indicators: "Three functions are integrated here: turn signals, daytime driving lights, and positional lamps."

This concluded the tour with project manager Martin Jendrusch. And with a satisfying swishing sound, the doors of the Setra TopClass closed back up.

Curious about the next generation of the ComfortClass 500? Click here for the report:

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