The M3 has a long history and heritage which up to now, BMW always seemed proud of. I hope BMW will remember the iconic M3 and this will just become a false rumor. The fact that BMW launched the 1M to keep the M1 badge for the historic M1 car is giving me hope that this is just a rumor.
For those who believes BMW is doing that just for making additional money, BMW could charge more for the coupe even if it's called M3. This is anyway what they are doing now and most people buy the M3 coupe and I'm sure the legend that goes with the M3 badge help salesmen to close some sales.
In any case, if this rumor comes true it won't affect me because due to the kids I have and will by the sedan that hopefully will retain the M3 badge. It will still disappoint me too see the coupe with an M4 badge.
Bottom line BMW can mess with the naming convention as long as they build a car that is better than all other cars in the same segment, as the current M3s (sedan, coupe or vert) are. Just make the next generation M3 more fun to drive, more of the ultimate driving machine and I will be happy. I trust BMW for that.
2011 E90 M3 fully loaded with DCT.
CRG Road Rebel KZ with ceramic brakes / Maxter MXO engine
2009 323i space gray (wife car)