I’ve had occasions where a non-optimal intercooler size led to fitting into a Production Unit or Engineering Time restriction without a significant reduction in engine performance. Sometimes, to fit in that budget range, you need a sub-optimal airflow. A 10 horsepower difference didn’t hurt the car, and if we had a pure “This is the exact intercooler you need, take it or leave it” setup, I would have had to compromise even further just to fit the challenge restriction.
That said, I would actually like to see a few years in the game where turbos are a thing, but intercoolers aren’t available for them. A lot of the early turbo cars were “hot air” cars, lacking any form of intercooler and just feeding their hot compressed air to the engine.