by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

Setra touring coach heads to South America - via China

Across desolate steppe landscapes and through snow-capped mountains: this year for the first time global travellers will not only be able to discover the Silk Road, but also travel the length of the Pan-American Highway from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego - all from the comfort of a luxuriously equipped touring coach in the guise of a Setra S 515 HD from the new ComfortClass 500 series. What is set to be the world's longest coach journey is to be undertaken by coach tour operator "Avanti Reisen", and will commence on 8 April 2013 in Freiburg and come to an end on 22 December in Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city. In short: a world record.

Successfully navigating this mammoth route, along what for the most part will be uncomfortable roads and through very diverse climatic conditions, calls for a technically mature touring coach boasting outstanding driving characteristics as well as optimum comfort-enhancing and safety features.

Trust in the Setra brand is the best guarantee

A strong believer of this very sentiment is Hans-Peter Christoph, Managing Director of Avanti, who has already successfully travelled from southern Germany to China in Setra TopClass 400 touring coaches on two previous occasions. As a result he is more than happy to opt for a vehicle from the traditional Ulm-based Setra brand for this ambitious project too. In his opinion, trusting the buses of Daimler AG is the best guarantee when it comes to taking on the risk of tackling a round-the-world trip in a coach: "As far as I'm concerned, there is no better travel companion than the Setra."

Setra touring coaches: the ultimate solution for long-distance travel

Thanks to the combination of a luxurious specification with the powerful, environmentally friendly Euro VI "BlueEfficiency Power" engines, Setra coaches are quite simply the ultimate solution for long-distance travel. Featuring adaptive cruise control, the Lane Assistant system, Continuous Braking Limiter, Electronic Stability Program and Front Collision Guard (FCG), the bright red-painted S 515 HD fulfils the highest safety standards currently applicable. The drive train of the touring coach comprises the 10.7-litre OM 470 in-line six-cylinder engine which produces 315 kW (428 hp) and delivers its maximum torque of 2100 Nm at 1100 rpm. The Euro VI engine is coupled with the GO 210 six-speed manual transmission, which features a high sixth gear for reduced engine speeds.

5-star touring coach with ample legroom

With a five-star classification and measuring 12.3 metres in length, the new two-axle ComfortClass 500 model, which celebrated its premiere at last year's IAA Commercial Vehicles Show in Hanover, provides ample legroom with 40 seats. In addition, the interior ambience is enhanced further by face-to-face seating with tables. On top of the technical refinements of the S 515 HD, the ambitious operator will also benefit from the added security afforded by the extensive service network of the EvoBus Omniplus service brand. An experienced mechanic will also be present on the trip.

A host of landmarks in 26 countries

Travellers can book the trip, which covers a total distance of 52,000 kilometres through 26 countries, either as a complete tour or in five individual stages. "The dream stage connects two of the world's most legendary routes and is peppered with a host of highlights. It makes its way to sacred Mount Ararat, through the Gobi desert, past volcanoes and Canadian lakes, and also through the green jungles of Central America as well as ultra-modern cities", explains Hans-Peter Christoph, stirring up interest in the epic coach trip, for which a few seats are still vacant.

ComfortClass 500: first touring coach design to feature Euro VI technology

In 2012, with the ComfortClass 500, Setra presented the world's first touring coach design developed entirely in line with Euro VI requirements, and set new benchmarks in terms of economic efficiency, value, comfort and safety with the dynamic sixth generation of the touring coach. The new premium touring coaches impress with a streamlined shape which was refined in the wind tunnel as part of a comprehensive development process.

Furthermore, a hybrid lightweight design concept that ensures even more strength at a significantly lower weight, as well as intelligent management of fuel consumption and electrical energy, make the new Setra touring coaches, built with precision manufacturing technology, appealing value-added vehicles that are among the safest coaches in their class. With the start of series production in the spring of 2013, the coaches are already implementing the Euro VI emissions standard which is due to come into effect in 2014 for new vehicles, as well as numerous other safety regulations and legal provisions planned for the coming years.

Avanti Reisen receives Sustainability Award 2013

Avanti Busreisen is a coach tour operator based in Freiburg, Breisgau, which has been run by Hans-Peter Christoph since 1991. As the owner of the company, he believes that the bus represents the most environmentally compatible, climate-friendly form of motorised travel. This year Christoph and his team have been awarded the International Sustainability Award by a German trade magazine dedicated to coaches. The focus of the company, which employs a staff of 22, includes long-distance inter-city and city tours as well as day trips. In addition, Avanti Reisen is also active in the rental and regular-service operations sectors.

Credits: Daimler AG

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