Lexus GS 450h

Automotive News reports Lexus may use the company's new GS to put some distance between itself and parent company Toyota. Buyers have snapped up a total of 4,900 GS models in just two months, breezing by year-long sales estimates in the process. The company attributes much of that success to non-traditional advertising efforts, including the Tori 500 iPhone and iPad app, and says that it could use similar tactics in the future to lure buyers in based on traits like "character and handling." Traditionally, consumers have turned toward Lexus because of Toyota's reputation for efficient and reliable machinery.

The GS, with its hour-glass grille and aggressive front fascia, is a first-step in giving the luxury automaker a more distinct brand image. In the past, Lexus has had trouble keeping buyers coming back, and the company believes that's partly due to the fact that luxury consumers are more interested in owning a brand than a particular vehicle. As such, we can expect to see more corporate design cues across the company's portfolio in the near future. The move may help set Lexus apart as something other than a slightly nicer Toyota in consumers eyes.