The Air Flow Meter!!!
Definitely... mines 14 years old, 156k km on the clock and going strong. My first Alfa 156 had a busted MAF at 6 years old.
I had a 2nd hand Phase 1 V6 for 4 years & used to take it to Ferdi's Garage Lytham for servicing. He had a Phase 2 V6 during that time & said my Ph 1 was definitely more responsive & felt quicker lower down because of the different gear ratios (can't remember which one - higher or lower). Ph 1 had 5-speed box, Phase 2 a 6-speed. I never tried his Ph 2 but took his expert view on it. His words offered a small crumb of comfort whilst I was regularly handing over the fistful of tenners.....
But Ph2 had vastly superior silver interior fascia / console, Ph 1 all-black console looks really dated now. Ph 1 also had 16" 5-hole alloys as standard which were prone to pitting & corrosion, whereas the Ph 2 17" teledials look miles better.
Like BradPitt above says, Alfa UK only brought in a 100 or so Ph 1's from April 1997 to test the UK market after which the Phase 2 was introduced from "S" reg onwards (if memory serves me correct). Can't imagine there'll be many Ph 1's left in the UK now ??
. Brad, you're sitting on a rare beast!
Not all Ph2 had the 17" - at least not here in Australia, plenty of Ph2 with teardrops.
I'm just about to swap out my 5 speed for 6, but only because the 6spd box I bought came with a Q2 and I'm too tight ass to pay for new bearings (but would like a new clutch while I'm at it.. go figure)
I love the BLACK HEADLINING on my Ph1. I never noticed the Ph2 had ewwy grey until I drove a Ph2 TS once. I also like the little gauge "pod" on the Ph1- the only thing I like more about the Ph2 dash really, is the circular vents, which I will find a way to do and adapt to my Ph1...
The throttle feels more responsive than the later models (156 GTA was the comparison car though)
Also, not one time have I seen an airbag light or injector light on my Ph1 other than starting it up.
I didn't like the black sills on it so I just did a Cup kit.