To the Editor:
Ford's plans to put a 4.4-liter diesel engine in its F-150 pickups is distressing ("Ford has an F-150 diesel in the works," June 19).
The diesel industry is going through a revolutionary change. Ultralow-sulfur diesel fuel should make the smelly, noisy diesel car a thing of the past. As you have noted repeatedly, many European and Japanese car companies are preparing to bring diesel cars to the United States that will be as clean as the typical gasoline car, especially after 2008.
As a result, the key question about diesel cars is no longer: Can a diesel be clean? Rather, it should be: Will the automakers use their new diesel engines to help reduce our dependence on imported petroleum, or will they continue to use their efficiency improvements to add horsepower and faster acceleration?
This product news from Ford suggests a troubling answer to the second question.