In what may prove to be a major blow for the BMW 3-Series Coupe and Audi A5, the upcoming Mercedes Benz E-Class Coupe will actually cost less than the E-Class Sedan on which it is based. Despite the new Coupe’s predecessor - the CLK - costing thousands of dollars more than the E-Class Sedan in most markets - the U.S. being a notable exception - this differential will no longer exist for the latest breed of E-Class variants.

The sedan itself is competitively priced as well, starting at $4,600 below the previous model's base price. The entry model, the 2010 E350, will start at $49,475, while at the other end of the spectrum, the V8-powered E550 will start at $57,175. The Coupe starts at a mere $48,925 for the E350 model, while the E550 kicks off at $55,525.

Earlier reports had hinted that the prices would be the same, or similar, because the E-Class Coupe shares most of its equipment and powertrain packages with the Sedan. While coupe and convertible models traditionally attract a price premium over sedan siblings, Mercedes appears to be attempting a new, aggressive pricing strategy to really hit its competition hard.

The CLK was always positioned slightly above the BMW 3-Series Coupe and Audi A5 and the new E-Class Coupe is no different. It won’t help that the new Mercedes two-door is not only cheaper, but also one of the best luxury coupes we’ve seen in a while, and is easily the pick of the bunch next to its rivals.

Sales of the new E-Class Sedan and Coupe will start in June, but that’s not the end of the story. At September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, Mercedes will unveil the new E-Class Cabrio as well as the E-Class Estate wagon, but both of these models will almost certainly attract a price premium over the Sedan.

Pricing for the 2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and E350 BlueTec diesel models will not be announced until a later date.