There is a perception, in some circles, that the Viper is unsophisticated, especially when it comes to earlier models. But this is missing the point. The Viper was designed, like the Cobra before it, to be as simple as possible. The Cobra was little more than a huge engine and a couple of seats, and that's what made it so fantastic. It was a pure driving experience, and so is the Viper. Similarities to the Cobra were planned from the start, but Carroll Shelby himself was enlisted by Chrysler to help with the design, just to be sure they got it right. The car debuted in concept form in 1989, to huge fanfare from the press, and the first production cars went on sale in 1992.