No, it's far more likely that GM wanted longer RUNNERS for the SSR, since that increases low and mid range torque at the expense of a bit of top end power. You need that low and mid range torque to move something as heavy as an SSR (about 50% heavier than a Corvette).
The intakes are different because of the overall vehicle packaging. I do not know if there is any performance difference, but the standard SSR intake system, including the air cleaner, has very low flow restriction.
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