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I have a lunch bet going with an otherwise rational, rather heads up gent who, I believe in this case is absolutely mistaken. I figured a "THE Ultimate BMW Enthusiasts Forum" would be the perfect arbiter for this bet.

Your opinion please:


Is the Z4 merely a "continuation" of the Z3 i.e. it's the same car just a different model year?

My contention is that the Z4 "replaced" the Z3 and that its various differences in frame, body and drivetrain prove that it was a replacement rather than a continuation.


Thank you in advance for any thoughts you might provide. A Primo Thai lunch is the winners prize here :D
 

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Replacement and Continuation are pretty similar. Yes the Z4 replaced the Z3, its a different car but it does continue BMWs trend for Roadsters and Sporty Coupes that started with the z1 and continued with the z3.

Also at one point BMW were going to change the naming conventions to anything with 2 doors would have an even number and anything else would be odd, for example the 1 series wagon/sedan would be the 1 series but the 1 series 2 door would be a coupe, they haven't really followed through with that, but maybe it made it through to the z3/z4, so in that regard you can call it a continuation.
 

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Well among the other more obvious changes, the Z4 has a multi link rear suspension as opposed to the Z3's semi trailing arms (from the E30).
 

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You each should buy your own lunch. Or maybe you can buy each other's lunch.

If BMW hadn't decided to try to start changing their convention to even numbers for 2-doors, the car we know as the z4 would have been exactly the same as it is, but it would have been called a z3. So it is a continuation in that it is the new model year of an existing car. It is a replacement in that -- as all new models tend to do -- it replaces the outgoing z3.

The same argument applies for the E-Class coupe vs. the CLK. The E-Class coupe "replaces" the CLK, but it is really just the next model in line, i.e., a rebadged continuation.

Did the MX-5 replace the miata, or is it really a continuation?

With the 2001 model year. the 330i replaced the 328i, but nobody would argue that the 330i is not a continuation of teh 328i.

If I have to pick one side, I say that your friend wins, based on the aforementioned rebadge/continuation concept.
 

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agreed with above.

As far as handling goes I think stock for stock the z4 handles better, as long as its not on run flats.
 

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The miata has always been known as the mx-5 in Japan, it was just a cute name for the US Market and it stuck. So it's not a continuation or replacement just a name change.
 

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The Z4 was a continuation of the Z3 as for the first few years, the powertrain and nearly all internals were the same as the Z3 only the body styling and name were different. After the first few years, the changes were substantial as the line evolved. Who knows what they will call it next - Z5? Something totally different? Dunno- but Z4 was a continuation of the Z3 when it debuted.
 

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The Z4 was a continuation of the Z3 in a sense, but only as a continuation of BMW's roadster line. When you compare the Z3 (E36/7 & E36/8) vs the Z4 (E85 / E86) the differences are more than skin deep.

As mentioned already the Z3 was heavily built off of the E36 and even used parts from the E30. The Z4 on the other hand (although it shares a few parts with the E46) is pretty much it's own car.

In a segment sense, I guess one can argue that the Z4 is a continuation of the Z3. On the other hand, one can also argue that the Z4 is not a continuation of the Z3 as they are both very different cars under the skin.
 
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