Originally Posted by Pretender
Don't miss out the E46 330 and M3 difference...<$12k. You think you're smart, but your math doesn't work here for the 3er.
He's making some pretty big generalizations there. Check out the Z4 3.0si vs. the Z4 M:
Z4 3.0si coupe: $40,400
Z4 M coupe: $50,100
Z4 3.0si roadster: $42,400
Z4 M roadster: $52,100
The difference is exactly $9700 for both (making the M versions of those an absolute no brainer by the way). And since the prices of the Z4s are very similar to the prices for the 335s, we could just as easily predict a $50k-$51k starting price for the M3.
Of course, I'm aware that the M3, M5 and M6 are more different from their non-M models than the Z4 M (body-work). However, there is a hole lot of space to play in between $9700 and $24000. Furthermore, differences in standard equipment were not taken into account with any of these comparisons.
I think as time goes on its becoming clear that a sub $60k base price for the M3 is most likely.