"Chinese tax bracket" - hope so, means the money persons are involved in additional units so more likely to get the go ahead. Personally hope that the boffins in white coats have Motorsport DNA in them and are sticking to the "lighter weight and power for a transverse engine bay" philosophy of the original VR6, plus modern cars are quite powerful so more cylinders and detuned would give the 5 pot F**d RS club (sorry for swearing ) a better run for the money (plus win over the journo's like the original with the throaty gruffness!).
It doesn't matter if it has 5, 6 or 7 runners for air to be honest, it has collectors, number of coils probably matters though! You have the main area, so the maf goes to a single inlet to feed the twin turbo's (blue), which in turn collect via 2 compressor outlets to the main area in dark red. I reckon around there is where they will either add some sort of air or water/air cooler for future development, above exhaust is not best place though!
So it goes to the main collector, the "torque path" if you will (interesting they didn't package tighter like a TFSI and kept long runners across the engine) - so the air collects there, where it's directed by 5-7 runners.
Shame they didn't sit the engine more over the axle but I guess that traction management with slight understeer is the safe way to tune them, if still a little(!) forward sat - and are the mounts part in green a part of the new MQB set up they are all using so further proof they should get to work making these?
Once past the main collector and down the runners, they then meet in another collector, you can see the shape of it under the plastic cowling;
So, I guess it doesn't matter the number of runners then, stop arguing! Maximum flow looks important then up until this point with volume a large part - then you can see the hose shrinks to the "power path" lower manifold. Although this raises heat it does speed up the air flow which is good if you want it reverberating around this short path area - which is designed for quick air entering for top end.
Nice to see the sensors in the "power path" manifold, I guess an aftermarket upgrade to short runner would have to be similar to the blue design added to the red bit? Or, I guess, someone's working on an integrated cooling system over the main collector/over the exhaust mani's, as we speak!