A flagship for the SetraClassics

A flagship for the SetraClassics

Apr 22, 2022
Stuttgart
  • The historic S 328 DT takes its place in the Setra Classic Collection
  • The double-decker bus of the 300 series was on the road for the Swiss company K. Dysli AG for 18 years
  • Setra double-decker buses – four successful generations  

Stuttgart. A historic Setra double-decker bus from the 300 model series supplements the SetraClassic Classic Collection in Neu-Ulm. The S 328 DT was handed over to EvoBus GmbH at the Retro Classics Exhibition in Stuttgart. The gray metallic painted three-axle vehicle was used for travel and rental by K. Dysli AG in Bern from 2003 to 2021 – covering around half a million kilometers.

The lower deck of the S 328 DT features an on-board kitchenette with a sausage cooker, hot water boiler, a microwave and a toilet. Passengers could make themselves comfortable here on their journeys around Europe at four club tables. The 72 fabric seats have integrated leather headrests. The furthest destination was Portugal. For the Dysli family, the handover is a very special moment: “We are delighted that our S 328 DT will have a place at the Setra Classic Collection for the duration of its now eternal lifetime, amidst the brand's other exclusive classics.”  

S 328 DT with its striking swingarm

The double-decker buses of the Setra 300 model series were presented to the public for the first time at the “Car & Bus” bus show in Kortrijk, Belgium, in October 1993. The striking swingarm and the equally striking outside mirrors of the S 328 DT are the typical exterior features of the second-generation of double-decker buses, which had been seamlessly integrated into the 300 model series presented in 1991 with their clear design. Basic dimensions: 12 m long, 2.5 m wide and 4 m high. The headroom in the lower passenger compartment was 1.8 m while on the upper deck it was 1.68 m. The turning circle was 20.48 m. A total of 780 units of the S 328 DT were built.

The Setra double-decker bus success story

The predecessor of the S 328 DT was the Setra S 228 DT presented in 1981 – this was the brand’s first double-decker bus. The “D” in the type designation stood for double-decker, while the “T” stood for tourism.  With a length of 12 m, a width of 2.5 m, a height of 4.0 m and a permissible gross vehicle weight of 22 t, the double-decker bus consistently flirted with the limits of the legislation of the time.

Despite the tight restrictions on both comfort features and passenger seats, it set standards for comfort and safety with, among other things, electronic control of the air conditioning and an anti-lock braking system.

In the years that followed, Setra developed numerous customer-specific solutions for lounge and bistro variants. The premiere vehicle of 1981 was followed by around 50 units in the first year of production. By 1993, the brand’s first double-decker bus had reached a remarkable total of exactly 1,104 units.

The S 328 DT of the 300 model series described above was replaced by the S 431 DT, which completed the TopClass 400 in 2001, i.e. only one year after its presentation. The bus uses the expanded measurement specifications within the EU in the interests of a completely new concept: With an unchanged height of exactly 4.0 m, it is now 13.89 m long and 2.55 m wide. This means four more passenger seats and a large luggage compartment, enhanced by several stowage compartments below the floor within the lower deck.

The S 431 DT's ambience was crowned by an optional glass roof, with the upper deck becoming a light-flooded viewing area. The swingarm was replaced by the “La Linea” aluminum bar, which lent the mighty touring bus even more elegance.

Five years after the premiere of the third-generation double-decker bus, 500 units were already in operation. However, its career really got going after that, with the Setra double-decker bus benefiting greatly from the approval of long-distance bus routes in Germany from 2013, among other things. A total of around 2 300 Setra TopClass S 431 DT have left the plant in Neu-Ulm.

The current Setra flagship: the S 531 DT

For five years, the S 531 DT of the TopClass 500 has been the fourth generation of Setra double-decker buses on the roads of Europe. Maximum efficiency and variability, maximum comfort, and maximum safety: The touring bus is once again setting the trend in its class with its top aerodynamic values. Thanks to its flexible lower deck it caters for all uses for touring and regular-service transport. As another safety feature, The Active Brake Assist 4 and Sideguard Assist assistance systems are celebrating their world premiere in the S 531 DT.

Classic bus history at Kässbohrer Halle 

The S 328 DT from Dysli AG will be on display as part of the Setra Classic Collection in the Kässbohrer Halle, in the immediate vicinity of the modern bus production facility in Neu-Ulm. Among other things, the first bus with a self-supporting body produced by the Ulm-based company Kässbohrer will be here to be admired exclusively by customers. The S 8 with chassis number 50001 heralded the success story of the Setra brand.

Among the former customer-carrying vehicles, which have been restored faithfully in the finest of details and which are completely roadworthy, is also an S 210 HD. Manufactured in 1988, the bus of the 200 model series was used by the Turkish bus company Varan for transferring VIPs. There is also an S 315 HDH from the 300 model series on display. The 1996 vehicle, which was built by the Swiss bus operator René Heiniger, was equipped with a wide-angle front and rear-view camera as well as a ring circuit for hearing-impaired travelers.      

Setra S 328 DT, year of manufacture 2001
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Setra S 328 DT, year of manufacture 2001
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Setra S 328 DT, year of manufacture 2001
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Patrik Dysli (right), member of the management of K. Dysli AG, Bern, symbolically hands over the key of the Setra double-decker bus S 328 DT to the Setra Oldtimer Collection, represented by Udo Sürig, Communications Setra Buses and Coaches, Daimler Truck AG, Stuttgart.
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