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Each category of Magnum Opus (car) upgrades is different in that some categories require sequential updates and others don't. I'd prefer to save the scrap by skipping upgrades where possible (upgrading right to the final version), but it's hard to tell which I can skip from the requirements alone. (Some items list "Additional Requirements", such as completing a mission, but still end up requiring the previous upgrade when the prerequisite is removed. So in those cases, I could have upgraded sooner.)

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    It's worth noting that the final upgrades are not necessarily the best by every measure. Progressive bumper upgrades add armor but also add more weight. Upgrade tiers are more of a scale you can use to balance your car's performance the way you like
    – GnomeSlice
    Dec 20, 2016 at 22:19
  • @GnomeSlice is right. You are probably not going to want the highest tier of every item equipped all the time.
    – Kat
    Dec 21, 2016 at 19:02

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"Cannot skip" below indicates that the upgrades must be purchased sequentially, regardless of the other unlock conditions (so might as well invest as soon as you see fit).

  • Ramming grill – CAN skip
  • Armor – cannot skip
  • Engine – cannot skip, except to V8 class
  • Exhaust – CAN skip
  • Tires – CAN skip
  • Suspension – CAN skip
  • Boost – cannot skip
  • Rims – CAN skip
  • Boarder spikes – CAN skip

  • Sniper rifle – cannot skip

  • Harpoon – cannot skip
  • Thunderpoon – cannot skip
  • Side burners – cannot skip
  • Repair speed – cannot skip
  • Car body, Body color, Decals, Hood ornament – N/A

Keep in mind that if you are looking to build all 16 Archangel vehicles, you'll likely need to purchase those in-between updates anyway. Also, all of Max's clothes upgrades can be skipped. As noted in the comments, the "final" upgrade might not be the "best" according to its description, but I've yet to read a report that suggests a noticeable perk from using anything but the last upgrade.

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    I think the clothes upgrades are just extra information at this point, since the question is technically about the car, not Max. Additionally, the sniper cannot be skipped, if I remember correctly. It's needed as part of a mission. Dec 21, 2016 at 13:56
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    It's information I would have wanted to know
    – Wolf
    Dec 21, 2016 at 16:22

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