The new Mazdaspeed3 makes its U.S. debut today at the 2009 New York International Auto Show.

Mazda Motor Corp.’s compact performance vehicle, which premiered worldwide at the Geneva auto show last month, goes on sale in the U.S. in mid- to late-summer.

The output from the 5-door’s 2.3L DISI turbocharged 4-cyl. remains unchanged at 263 hp and 280 lb.-ft. (380 Nm) of torque.

But Mazda says it has “harnessed that power more efficiently,” employing a hood-mounted intercooler scoop, instead of a grille-mounted intercooler duct, to improve power and fuel economy.

The scoop improves intercooler airflow compared with the previous model and frees up grille space for a fresh-air duct to feed the engine’s intake, Mazda says.

Also changed are the 6-speed manual transmission’s gear ratios, made slightly taller in second through fifth gears to “make better use of the engine’s abundant torque,” Mazda says.

The auto maker says it has addressed torque steer, a common complaint with the first-generation Mazdaspeed3, by recalibrating the advanced torque-management system.

The auto maker has nearly doubled the amount of high-strength and ultra-high strength steel in the ’10 model’s bumpers and side impact beams, making them stronger and lighter.

Thicker sheet metal and weld bonding, using spot welds and adhesives, are employed in the suspension mounting points for improved rigidity.

Mazda says torsional stiffness around the rear suspension mounts is improved “roughly 2%,” and there is an almost 40% reduction in deflection around the hatchback’s liftgate.

To firm up the suspension, Mazda adds stiffer springs and higher damping rates and revises the front stabilizer bar’s mounting points. The latter reduces bushing deflection while increasing the stabilizer bar’s effectiveness.

Dunlop SP Sport 2050 18-in. performance tires are wider and provide better grip than the outgoing Mazdaspeed3’s Dunlop tires.

For improved steering feel, a 3-point mounting of the steering rack replaces the 2-point system in the previous car, and an electro-hydraulic power-assisted steering system replaces the engine- mounted hydraulic power steering pump, giving “much more flexibility for the development team to dial in steering feel” and provide lighter handling at low speeds.

The brake-assist system in the new Mazdaspeed3 goes from mechanical to electronically controlled. The new system can better differentiate panic-stop situations from “braking hard for turn 11 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca,” the auto maker says.

Styling builds on the look of the newly introduced ’10 Mazda3 by adding a lower air dam and metallic black grille, new aluminum wheels, sculpted side skirts and larger dual exhausts and rear-wing spoiler.

Standard features include electroluminescent gauges; aluminum pedals; dual-zone climate control; and Mazdaspeed3-branded black and red cloth seats, door trim, floor mats and scuff plates.

An optional technology package includes keyless entry, push-button start, navigation, XM Sirius Satellite Radio with six months free service and Bose Centerpoint surround-sound system.

Also on hand at the New York auto show are the refreshed ’10 Mazda CX-7 and CX-9 cross/utility vehicles, going on sale in the U.S. in late summer and early fall, respectively.

Responding to customer requests, Mazda will offer the CX-7, which debuted in 2006 as an ’07 model, with its naturally aspirated 2.5L DOHC MZR I-4, mating it to a 5-speed automatic transmission in i SV and i Sport trims.

The more powerful 2.3L DISI Turbo remains available on upper trim levels, Mazda says.

The 2.5L I-4, already launched in the Mazda6, will churn out 161 hp and 161 lb.-ft. (218 Nm) of torque in the CX-7. Mazda expects fuel economy of the base mill, coupled with a 5-speed automatic in the front-wheel-drive CX-7, to be 21/28 mpg city/highway (11.2-8.4 L/100 km).

The CX-9, all-new in 2007, receives updated styling, inside and out. Mazda’s new 5-point grille design and richer-looking interior materials, including higher-density cloth fabric for Sport models, are new for ’10.