Let the OT US base price continue to go OT
It is important to look at the spread between highest non M model and M model to figure out where BMW will price the M3 in the US. However, competitors prices are just as important. The next important fact is that the 3er is no longer just a 3er. What I mean by this is that BMW has deliberately taken the 3er to larger, more luxurious, more powerful and in many ways closer to what the 5er used to be. They have done this because most cars are naturally getting larger (and safer) as well as to make room for the new 1er. So what does this mean? It means that the differential is likely to be closer to that of the 550->M5 than the Z4->Z4 M.
As far as competition goes this thing can be >$60k base and still be priced less than RS4, 911, C63 AMG and in most ways outperform all of them. Why should BMW charge less than $60k base then? The only reason would be the psychological barrier of $60k or their belief that $60k+ would prevent them from selling their target of 50k cars over the life of the model. Sort of the same thing. Any bets on base <$60k?
P.S. The sinking dollar to euro ratio does not help either!