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Maserati keeps key safety tech on options list for $400,000-plus model

Maserati’s MC20 might cost in excess of $400,000 BOCs, but you’ll have to pay extra for features like rear cross-traffic alert.

In an era when even relatively humble, budget cars feature life-saving technology such as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, it’s tempting to think you’d be in line for those features when you’re handing over near enough to half a million dollars.

But if you’re spending up big on Maserati’s latest supercar, the 320km/h-plus MC20, you might be surprised you’ll be asked for more money for those driver aids.

And while $2797 isn’t a huge chunk of change relative to the basic asking price, it still seems odd that a $30,390 Mazda3 has both those features and extends the rear-cross traffic alert to actually braking the car automatically if it detects a potential crash.

But it remains those very features are optional extras on the MC20, a decision that’s all the more surprising when you consider the poor rear vision afforded by the mid-engined layout of the car.

But Maserati’s Australian and New Zealand general manager, Grant Barling, argues the move is a deliberate one to avoid being prescriptive and reducing customers’ freedom of choice.

“Actually, they’ve (Maserati) put in as much equipment as they needed to,” he told CarsGuide.

“And only about 60 per cent of buyers (based on orders held) are opting for blind-spot and rear cross-traffic.”

But don’t assume this is a cost-cutting strategy on the part of Maserati’s customers, because in other areas, MC20 buyers are proving to be free-spenders of the highest order.

While the basic MC20 starts at $438,000, Mr Barling said the average spend is much higher than that.

“Typically, they’re spending $550,000 which means there’s somewhere between $80,000 and $200,000 of option boxes ticked,” he said.

“A few are ticking only the carbon-fibre engine cover and front-lifter (a device to raise the car at low speeds to avoid driveways and speed-humps).”

“But about 50 per cent of buyers are opting for the carbon-fibre exterior kit at $92,000.”

Meantime, while spending more money was once seen as a way of jumping the queue and getting what you want now, perhaps that’s changed.

It seems that thanks to the current supply-chain hassles the planet is experiencing, even forking out something like 10 times the cost of a perfectly functional family car, doesn’t get you to the check-out first.

The MC20 is a classic example.

Order one now and you’ll not only need to produce a 10 per cent deposit before the order will be lodged with head office in Modena, Italy, but you’ll also be waiting a full 12 months before you see your car.

So maybe the best idea is to wait?

Maybe not; while current orders are price-protected, the MY23 MC20 will usher in a price-hike, taking the asking price to $465,000.