Mine's plasticky - no cheese in sight
I happen to think it's quite good. Better than picking air up from behind the turn indicator, or the right front wheel, or from near the ground, or from the engine bay itself.
Plasticky it may be but there's no chance of picking up warm air directly from the engine area. With the front of the air intake mounted directly at the front of the car and quite high up, you are guaranteed of a constant supply of the cold stuff. If you want over-engineered, try a Mercedes (but the *design* will be no better I assure you).
You can blame the length of the intake tract, and the heating of air as it travels through the tract, on the fact that the air cleaner housing has the air entry port at the rear, not the front, and the fact that the air cleaner (and throttle body) sits just about right on top of the engine.