So I, like most of you, am dying to know what BMW will price the M3 at. I went onto BMWUSA.com to do a direct comparison of a 550i vs. M5 that INCLUDES the optional equipment you need to put on the 550i to bring it to a similar equipment level that is standard on the M5. This includes
Logic 7 sound
Heated Front Seats
Sport package (gets 19" wheels, sport seats)
The 550i with this stuff costs $68,725 vs. $83,675 for the M5 -- a $15K difference
Applying the same math to the M3 vs. 335i coupe, I am hoping they offer the M3 without Nav and, perhaps without leather. If the M3 comes with the same equipment as a stock 335i (logic 7, power seats, bi-zenons, etc) then you add Sport package to get 18" wheels and sport seats on the 335i you have a price of $43,150. If you add the same $15K on to get the M3's price you have a base of $58,150. If you increase instead by the same percentage (22%) then the base price is $52,530. Somewhere in between would be a base of $55K.
So it all comes down to what standard equipment will come with the M3 (which will drive up the base price) and whether they price it based on premium over the 335i or based on pricing of its rivals. Since BMW is known for offering reasonable base prices but then making profits on the options, I think/hope/wish/pray that they will base it at $55,895 and including almost exactly the same standard equipment as the 335i.
Seeing that there are 4 M5s and 2 M6s sitting outside my dealership collecting dust (druel?), I think they won't get too greedy with the M3's base price. Here's to hoping!